27th Oct, 2020

Rugby teen accused of Neo-Nazi terror plot compared himself to Hitler, court hears

A TEENAGER accused of preparing for acts of Neo-Nazi terror told police he was “a nine to 10” on a scale, with 10 as “full-on” Hitler, a jury has heard.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that the 17-year-old made the comment following his arrest in September last year, after advising members of the so-called Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) on how to convert a blank-firing gun into a live weapon.

The youth was interviewed around a fortnight after his home was raided, and asked to explain gun-making instructions found on his phone, and knives and a home-made gun stock seized from his bedroom.

Describing the police interviews to jurors during the third day of the Crown’s opening speech, prosecutor Matthew Brook said the boy, from Rugby in Warwickshire, claimed his actions had “all been a fantasy”.

Mr Brook said the boy told police he had been talking to Neo-Nazis on the internet for a matter of months.

The prosecutor told jurors: “They had discussed their extreme dislike for some racial groups and he had also talked to them about making firearms and specifically about using blank-firing guns as a basis to build functional weapons.

“He said to the police that he had held right-wing views for a number of years, but he had recently been talking to more extreme people.

“He claimed that, although he had been discussing with these people about converting guns, it had in fact all been a fantasy and he had not done anything in the real world.”

Addressing jurors on Thursday, Mr Brook said: “When asked to put himself on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being, in the police’s words, ‘full-on Nazi Hitler’ – when asked to put himself on that scale – he said he was a nine to 10.”

Earlier, jurors were shown photographs of items found in the youth’s home, including two knives, a rubber “practice” knife, a face-mask featuring an image of a skull, and a piece of aluminium pipe.

Sketches of home-made gun designs and one of a “DIY shotgun shell” were also found in a notebook, the court heard.

Concluding his opening speech, Mr Brook said the youth had told police he was not preparing for acts of terrorism.

The boy said the sketches found by police were “just doodles” or “venting”, while claiming his online chats were “a game” and had been “pure fantasy”.

But Mr Brook alleged: “What the prosecution say, as we have seen, is that the defendant was associating himself with extreme right-wing groups who saw acts of terrorism, such as so-called lone wolf shootings, as good.

“He shared their ideology and shared their view that action should be taken to accelerate the race war.

“He gave practical advice about guns, to people he believed had the same extreme right-wing ideology as him. Why? Because he wanted people to act – to arm themselves with guns and to use them.

“The prosecution do not have to prove which specific act of terrorism the defendant either intended to commit himself, or what specific act of terrorism he intended the people he was assisting to commit.

“But it amounts to people arming themselves, with guns or other weapons, to commit acts of violence for ideological extreme right-wing reasons. That was what he was taking steps to prepare for, before, thankfully, the police intervened.”

The defendant, who cannot be identified because of his age, denies a single count of preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to the 2006 Terrorism Act, between April and September last year.

At the start of the trial’s third day, Judge Paul Farrer QC told the court the youth had chosen not to attend, and instructed jurors not to hold his absence against him.

The trial continues.

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