Man, 20, wanted ‘full-on racial war’ jailed over plot to bomb Newcastle police station

11 July 2023, 15:17

Luke Skelton has been jailed for four years.
Luke Skelton has been jailed for four years. Picture: Alamy/Counter Terrorism Policing North East/PA

By Jenny Medlicott

A former college student who was intent on a "racial war" and plotted to bomb a police station in Newcastle has been jailed.

Luke Skelton was 17 when he started plotting to bomb a police station in Newcastle upon Tyne and started developing and sharing extreme rightwing views online, which led to his pursuit of a “full-on” race war.

Skelton, who is now 20, was sentenced to four years in jail on Tuesday with an extended license period of one year.

He researched napalm, Molotov cocktails and how to make explosives on the internet, the court heard.

The judge said he was he was engaged in a course of conduct: “Based on the extreme rightwing views which you then held in order to bring about civil disturbance and unrest by terrorist means”.

Speaking at Teeside crown court, Judge Paul Watson KC said the evidence showed Skelton was “a committed and active rightwing extremist”.

Skelton is reported to have had racist, sexist, homophobic, antisemitics and Islamophobic views.

Jurors were told the then 17-year-old, who was a student at Gateshead college, travelled over 10 miles from Washington, Tyne and Wear in September 2021 to take photos of Forth Banks police station, the building he was plotting to bomb.

Court also heard he wrote a manifesto and “final note” in which he discussed encouraging a “racial war”.

Read more: Met Police asks BBC to pause presenter investigation as they 'continue assessment'

Read more: Teacher stabbed at Tewkesbury school released from hospital - as teenager held on suspicion of attempted murder

Luke Skelton began sharing rightwing extremist views when he was 17.
Luke Skelton began sharing rightwing extremist views when he was 17. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East/PA

"Your internet activity shows you were a committed and active right-wing extremist dedicated to white supremacy,” the judge said.

"You made heroes of those who carried out atrocities in the name of fascism."

He also said Skelton wanted to "bring about civil disturbance by terrorist means”.

The now 20-year-old was first arrested in June 2021 but was told the following month he would face no action.

"The reality is that you had not the intellectual, financial or technical wherewithal to have been able to construct an explosive device capable of creating even modest injury,” the judge later added.

Crispin Aylett KC said in mitigation of Skelton, who has autism: “People with autism feel marginalised and are more prone to being radicalised. Some - and Luke Skelton was one of them - want to lash out."

The judge said Skelton committed the offences due to the “loneliness” of the pandemic, and that the extremism may have given him a “sense of excitement and purpose which [he] readily latched on to”.

“Your fantasy was to turn back the pages of history books to times when such xenophobic and hateful views were tolerated and even admired.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Dame Esther said she was "disappointed" at no clear call for a vote on assisted dying

‘The law is a mess’: Dame Esther Rantzen issues fresh call for free vote on assisted dying

Canada Gaza Strip Aid

Canada says it is working to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible

Mark Feehily announced he's temporarily stepping away from the band amid health struggles.

Westlife star Mark Feehily reveals he’s standing down from the band just days before US tour leaving fans devastated

The Duke of Sussex took legal action against the Home Office over a decision in 2020 to change the level of his personal security

Prince Harry faces £1m bill after losing High Court challenge over taxpayer funded police protection

Rishi Sunak has warned 'mob rule' is threatening to 'replace democratic rule'.

Rishi Sunak calls for end to ‘mob rule’ as he urges police chiefs to get tough on protesters

Biden

President Joe Biden declared ‘fit for duty’ after annual medical test

Thomas Kingston died aged 45.

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston 'died at his parents' £3m country mansion'

Capitol

Supreme Court to rule if Trump can be prosecuted in election interference case

Richard Lewis has died aged 76.

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis dies aged 76 after suffering heart attack

Obit Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis, humorously morose star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, dies aged 76

Robert Brown's lost his bid for parole.

BA pilot Robert Brown who bludgeoned wife to death with claw hammer loses bid for early prison release

Film Oscars-Guide

Everything you need to know about this year’s Oscars ceremony

It is understood that RedBird IMI is offering to help pay the £1.16 billion in debts that the current owners, the Barclay family, owe to Lloyds Bank.

Foreign governments must be banned from owning British newspapers, says former Tory cabinet minister

Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table.

Death row execution abandoned after officials 'unable' to give lethal injection - with inmate's death warrant to expire

Mexico volcano

Flights cancelled as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupts

Lee Anderson

Police 'looking into hate speech complaint against Lee Anderson' after MP said Sadiq Khan was controlled by Islamists