After just over 7 hours deliberation, today the jury returned unanimous verdicts in relation to two school boys accused of conspiring to murder pupils and teachers at their school. Both boys were found guilty of conspiracy to murder.
The two boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, plotted a recreation of the infamous Columbine School Massacre.
One of the boys was also convicted of wounding his 14 year old girlfriend at the time by carving his name into her back with a penknife, in a process referred to as “scarification”.
It was argued on behalf of both boys, who were 14 years old at the time, that the evidence amassed by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit revealed no more than that each was a fantasist and that the plot was not real.
By its verdict the jury rejected this explanation.
The trial involved the painstaking presentation of evidence by Paul and Nick from a variety of diverse sources, including calling 4 child witnesses under the pre-recorded cross examination process, calling live the parents of one of the boy’s girlfriend, relying upon teachers from the school, presenting an expert in bomb making and explosives, an expert in the Columbine High School Massacre, a forensic physician in relation to the injury and an exhaustive analysis of the internet usage by both boys.
The boys will be sentenced on 20th July 2018, on which date consideration will be given to whether or not they should be named.
Reports of the verdict can be found here: