Teenager Jailed For Life For Planning Massacre At Newcastle College

    Liam Lyburd, from Newcastle, used the dark net to buy a gun and explosives that he planned to kill students at his former college. Read BuzzFeed News' in-depth investigation into this case here.

    A British 19-year-old has been given a life sentence for buying lethal weapons with the intent to kill students at his former college.

    CPS / PA

    Tom White / PA

    Liam Lyburd, from Newcastle, admitted nine charges of making or buying weapons but denied eight further charges of intending to use them to injure or kill, at a trial in July.

    The trial heard that Lyburd used dark net markets – anonymous sites inaccessible with regular web browsers where people buy and sell drugs and other illicit goods – to acquire a Glock handgun, CS canisters, and the materials to make pipe bombs.

    He was planning to carry out a massacre at Newcastle College, where he briefly attended in 2012 before being expelled, and was arrested hours before he was due to carry out the attack.

    Judge Paul Sloan QC told Lyburd: "I am satisfied there is a significant risk to the public of serious harm by you." He described the evidence against Lyburd as "chilling to say the least".

    Sentencing was delayed until September for the preparation of a psychiatric report – but the report said that despite a personality disorder, Lyburd doesn't suffer from "acute mental illness" and never has, the sentencing hearing was told.

    The judge told Lyburd: "Your personality disorders have no way impaired your ability to know what you were doing."

    He must serve at least eight years before any release can be considered.

    Liam Lyburd given life sentence, must serve minimum of 8 years before any consideration for release.

    Detective Superintendent George Duff, who led Northumbria police's investigation into Lyburd, said outside the court today that the defendant was a "dangerous man".

    "Lyburd is a dangerous man who intended to cause serious harm," he said. "He at no point has shown any remorse for what he intended to do. By not admitting his wrongdoing in the first instance shows the utter lack of consideration for those he intended to harm.

    "Thankfully the courts and the jury came to the best decision and today Lyburd is behind bars where he belongs.

    "His actions not only caused threats to certain people but it also caused concern and disruption to the local community and I would like to thank them for their cooperation throughout the investigation. Community vigilance plays an important role in policing our communities and we encourage anyone with concerns to contact police straight away."

    Lyburd was seen laughing during Friday's hearing and at other times looked bored, reporters said.

    Liam Lyburd is brought into the dock. Wearing a grey sweater, he is chatting and laughing with the dock officer

    #LiamLyburd Judge starting sentencing - Lyburd looks bored, slouched, raising eyebrows as judge talks. #DarkWeb

    He shook his head as the judge mentioned social media posts he'd made about mass shootings.

    #LiamLyburd Lyburd shaking his head as judge talks about posts he made online about mass murders in America.

    The court heard Lyburd continued to make references to shooting people after his conviction.

    Court hears even after conviction dangerous Lyburd said he wanted to shoot people

    However, Lyburd's defence barrister, Anne Richardson, argued at the hearing that this was just a sign of his immaturity.

    Liam Lyburd's defence: "Liam's reaction to conviction is a sign of his immaturity" #LiamLyburd #DarkWeb

    His defence argued that he is not a terrorist.

    Liam Lyburd's barrister, Anne Richardson, says he has "no terrorist ideation"

    But the judge said the plan was real and it was "only a matter of time" before he carried it out.

    #LiamLyburd Judge "It was only a matter of time before you put your plan into action." #DarkWeb

    Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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