15 year-olds who plotted Columbine style massacre in Yorkshire jailed

The boys received 12 and 10-year sentences respectively (stock image)

The boys received 12 and 10-year sentences respectively (stock image)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Two 15-year-old boys who plotted to gun down innocent classmates in a replica version of the 1999 Columbine massacre have been given 10 and 12-year custodial sentences.

The would-be murderers were said to have "hero-worshipped" Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the teenagers who took up arms and killed 13 people at the Columbine High School in Colorado before taking their own lives.

The two boys, who were just 14 at the time of the plotting, were so serious about carrying out their own version of the attack at their school in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, that they had drawn up a "hit-list" of targets.

During their trial, prosecutors told how the teenagers downloaded bomb-making manuals, researched weapons online and warned friends about what was to come.

In a secret hideout in Catterick Garrison, the elder boy kept a rucksack filled with screws, boards and flammable liquid, which prosecutors suggested were instruments for making an explosive device which was to be part of the killing.

Prosecutors told how the boy had also warned his then-girlfriend that he wanted to murder her parents, so that he could run away with her and become a "natural born killer".

In evidence, the girl's mother said: "He's devious and primitive and had quite a lot of power and control over what, at the time, was our vulnerable daughter."

Both were interviewed by North Yorkshire Police, who later accepted that they "did not meet those standards that are expected" in the way they dealt with the boys.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the older defendant had started researching the Columbine massacre again within minutes of the officers leaving, despite having denied plans for the attack.

He was eventually arrested after his hideout was discovered by officers on October 22 2017, with the younger boy voluntarily attending a police station with his mother three days later.

The older boy was given a 12-year custodial sentence at Leeds Crown Court on Friday, while the younger was given 10 years.