Liam Lyburd guilty of Newcastle College mass murder plot

image copyrightTom White/PA WIRE
image captionLiam Lyburd has been found guilty of possessing weapons with intent to endanger life

A 19-year-old has been found guilty of plotting mass murder at his former college.

Liam Lyburd admitted possessing a gun, bomb and bullets but claimed he had not intended to hurt anyone at Newcastle College.

He was found guilty of possessing weapons with intent to endanger life following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on 25 September at the same court.

During the trial, Newcastle Crown Court heard he told police he intended to "shoot a bunch of people" and blow up Newcastle College.

'Kill bag'

Prosecutor Nick Dry said that following concerns raised about posts he had made on Facebook in November under the name Felix Burns, police went to the house on Hamilton Place, Newcastle, where he lived with his mother and sister and searched his room.

image captionPolice evacuated homes after devices were found at the house in Newcastle

Officers found items including a black handgun and canisters of CS gas, along with a black "kill bag" which contained a balaclava, safety glasses, elbow and knee pads and a number of pipe bombs with nails taped around them.

Lyburd laughed as he was transported to the police station after being arrested, and told detectives that it had been a "fantasy that he had no intention of carrying out", the court heard.

During the trial he often smirked, and said that buying a gun online was not a "big deal" and "like buying a bar of chocolate".

image copyrightCPS
image captionSourcing a gun online was like "buying chocolate" Lyburd said

When his house was raided he had not been outside for months, but lived off takeaways which he paid for with other people's Paypal accounts.

He corresponded with people online, discussing plans to carry out a massacre and praising US high school shooters and the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

The court heard analysis of his laptop found a file called "Newcastle College" which he had attempted to delete.

'People will die'

media captionDanny Savage reports on the weapons gathered by Liam Lyburd

But experts recovered the contents, including a note that said: "I'll get my power back today haha... You ruined my whole life, don't expect me to show any mercy today. No-one disrespects me and gets away with it. I will teach you a little lesson on respect with my 9mm hollow points ;).

"It's time for extreme civil disobedience. Fantasy will become reality for sure. Where the mind goes the body will follow and yes, people will die there's no question about that."

A spokesperson for Newcastle College, said: "The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority and we would like to thank Northumbria Police who we worked closely with throughout the incident."

image copyrightGoogle
image captionLyburd said that Newcastle College had ruined his life

Lyburd admitted nine charges relating to making five pipe bombs, two home-made explosive devices, possessing a 9mm Luger Calibre Glock gun, 94 jacketed hollow point expanding bullets, and CS gas.

He had denied eight charges of possessing those items with an intent to endanger life but was convicted of all eight counts.

After the verdicts were returned, Lyburd made a gun gesture with his hand and pointed it at his head.

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