Boys accused of plotting attack to go on trial

Two boys arrested on suspicion of plotting a Columbine School-style terror attack will go on trial charged with conspiracy to murder.

Both teenagers – aged 14 and 15 – were arrested by counter-terror police in their hometown of Northallerton in North Yorkshire on 28 October and appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday.

The older boy – who wore a jumper and a buttoned-up shirt in the dock of the packed court – is also facing charges of unlawful wounding and aggravated burglary, relating to a plan to break into a house and steal legally owned firearms.

At the time of the arrests, North Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Phil Cain had said it was “an isolated incident” and that the wider community was “not at risk”.

The boys were accompanied by two security officers in court as they each told the clerk their names, dates of birth and their nationalities, but neither can be named for legal reasons.

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Judge Peter Collier ordered that the boys go on trial in Leeds on 3 May and they are expected to enter pleas at another court appearance on 12 February.

Both have been remanded in custody and there was no application for bail.