Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Two teenagers planned to blow up their school in a massacre timed to coincide with the anniversary of a killing spree at a US school, a court has heard.
Matthew Swift, 18, and his friend, Ross McKnight, 16, of Denton, Greater Manchester, deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.
Manchester Crown Court heard they plotted to blow up the school on the Columbine tragedy's 10th anniversary.
A teacher and 12 students died at a school in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999.
The court heard the pair became obsessed with the massacre at Columbine High School on 20 April 1999, and wanted to emulate the actions of the two killers - Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.

Their two targets were the shopping complex, Crown Point North, and Audenshaw School, where Mr McKnight was still a student and Mr Swift a former pupil, the court heard.
The pair were arrested in March.
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said they had plotted the massacre, fantasised about the killing spree and agreed to carry out their plans.
Referring to the Columbine tragedy, Mr Wright said to the jury: "You may remember it, you may have read about it and seen photographs of it.
"It is the prosecution case that these two young men sat in the dock had planned to copy and emulate the actions of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, here in the UK."
The court heard Mr McKnight and Mr Swift had agreed to detonate a bomb at Crown Point North as a diversion before they driving to their school, murdering teachers and pupils and then killing themselves.

Crown Point North was one of the boys' targets, the prosecution said.
Mr Wright told the jury they may conclude, after hearing the evidence, that "Matthew Swift is the more articulate" and exerted a "degree of influence" over McKnight.
He said: "This was, we say, a bad influence on the younger boy but in due course they were each fully aware of the terrible act they planned and they were prepared, notwithstanding that fact, to carry it out."
Mr Wright said they were also fascinated by the Oklahoma city bombings, carried out by Timothy McVeigh in 2005, which resulted in the deaths of 168 people and injuries to 450 others.
He said there were parallels between the two defendants and McVeigh in the way they all "reduced their observations into writing".
Mr McKnight wrote an essay about a massacre at a school entitled Equations of the Mind.
Mr Wright said: "It appears to be a piece of creative writing and it's in respect of a massacre, and a massacre in Audenshaw, at a school in which hundreds were injured and 10 were killed."
The trial continues.



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