A 16 year old from Leeds has pleaded guilty to terrorism offences after a member of the public reported their concerns over postings on social media.
The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit were alerted to an account that was suspected of sharing extreme right wing content.
Following investigations into the account, Counter Terrorism Policing North East arrested a teenager from Leeds in May 2021. He was further arrested in July.
The 16 year old was summoned to appear before Westminster Youth Court on February 17, 2022, where he was formally charged with one offence of disseminating a terrorist publication (Contrary to section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006) and one offence of possessing terrorist material (Contrary to section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000).
He pleaded guilty to both offences during that hearing.
Today (Monday, March 14), the defendant has been sentenced to a 12 month Referral Order for each offence concurrent. He was also ordered to pay costs and was given a Criminal Behaviour Order that will last until the day before his 18th birthday.
A Referral Order is whereby a young offender is referred to a panel of two trained community volunteers and a member of the youth offending team. Referral Orders can include reparation or restitution, as well as undertaking a programme of interventions and activities to address their offending behaviour.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is Head of CTP North East and would urge the public to continue to bring worrying material to the attention of police.
“We are immensely grateful that this was reported to police” said DCS Snowden.
“We would always encourage members of the public to report material of concern so it can be removed and appropriate action taken.
“We have seen before how online extremism can fuel hate and influence others, and that is true of this case.
“Through reports such as these, the work of the CTIRU and the support of online service providers, we can silence those wanting to spread hatred and protect others from the harm that takes place on online platforms.”
It only takes a moment to make a report online by visit www.gov.uk/ACT You can also report suspicious activity by contacting the police in confidence on 0800 789 321.
In an emergency, or if you need urgent police assistance, you should always dial 999.