Hampshire schoolboy, 14, denies being ‘mesmerised by martyrdom'

A TEENAGE boy from Hampshire who made videos influenced by Islamic State has told a jury he didn’t mean what he said.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 5th October 2020, 2:09 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 2:54 pm

The 15-year-old boy, from Eastleigh, told Leicester Crown Court today that videos he made in which he said he would ‘carry out Jihad’ were ‘nasty stuff’ and he didn't like watching them as they were ‘evil’.

Questioning the defendant, his barrister, Mary Prior QC, said: ‘Why are you doing this?’

‘I don’t really know,’ the schoolboy said.

Ms Prior continued: ‘How do you feel about it now?’

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‘Upset … because it is nasty stuff. I don’t like watching it because it is evil. I don’t mean what I said.’

Referring to words said in a home-made videos about martyrdom being a ‘sweet but worth prize for carrying out jihad’, Ms Prior asked: ‘Did you plan to kill yourself?’

‘No,’ the defendant replied.

Ms Prior continued: ‘Did you plan to kill somebody else?’

He replied firmly: ‘No, I did not’

The court previously heard that he watched YouTube videos about making bottle bombs, researched items to make basic devices and added some to his mother’s Amazon wish-list.

Ms Prior said: ‘How many videos did you look at?’, to which the teenager, who was 14 at the time of the alleged offence, replied: ‘I can’t remember but it was a few.’

Ms Prior continued: ‘Did you understand that they make an explosion?’

‘Yes’, the boy replied.

The court was then shown a video the defendant had recorded of one of the bottle bombs exploding in his wardrobe.

The defence barrister then asked the teenager about his reference to a ‘chemical bomb’ in one of the home-made videos. In response to Ms Prior’s question about if he had made a chemical bomb, he said no.’

Asked why he had used words meaning ‘non-believers’ in videos, the boy said: ‘Because I saw it in a film – Four Lions.’

The video also appeared to show the defendant saying he would ‘support our brothers and sisters at the Gaza Strip’.

Ms Prior continued: ‘How were you going to support your brothers and sisters at the Gaza Strip?’

‘I wasn’t,’ the boy replied.

‘Do you have any brothers and sisters at the Gaza Strip?’ Ms Prior asked.

‘No,’ he said.

Asked what the cause he was referring to in a video when he said mentioned a ‘cause … bigger than any cause’, the defendant said: ‘Isis.’

‘Is that what you meant?’ Ms Prior said.

The boy responded: ‘No.’

The defendant has denied one count of preparing acts of terrorism.


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