A judge took the unusual step of naming two 15-year-old boys who plotted to murder their classmates in a Columbine-style massacre, blaming the internet for “poisoning their young minds”.
Thomas Wyllie, the ringleader, and his accomplice and Alex Bolland were jailed on Friday for a total of 22 years for planning “to cause terror on the scale of a school shooting in America”. They had been found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of conspiracy to murder.
The schoolboys hero-worshipped Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the American teenagers who carried out the infamous Columbine massacre in Colorado in 1999.
Wyllie and Bolland, who were arrested when aged just 14, had devised their own plan for their school in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, drawing up a revenge “hit list” of students and teachers who had either bullied or wronged them. They had also downloaded bomb-making manuals off the internet and attempted to obtain guns and ammunition.
Wyllie, who was given a 12-year jail term, was motivated by a far-Right “twisted ideology” and had set up a fake Instagram account with Nazi imagery.