19-year-old UK citizen Thomas Leech, who has encouraged terrorism against Jews and Muslims, has been sentenced to two years in a young offender’s institution.
Leech posted a "call to arms" and glorified far-right killers such as Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in two terrorist attacks in Norway in 2011 and Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
Leech, a Preston native, pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism against Jews and Muslims and stirring up religious or racial hatred.
Rachel White, mitigating, said some offenses were committed when Leech was still a minor, aged only 17 or 18, and that he suffered from autism, agoraphobia and bullying, which kept him out of school.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Leech believed conspiracy theories about Jews, saying they were planning the “great replacement” of the white race and are responsible for the “Islamification” of Europe.
Leech posted online about his belief that the Holocaust was a hoax and that Jews controlled the world, as well as posting Third Reich imagery and anti-Muslim content.
Prosecutor Joe Allman said Leech first came to police attention when he claimed to be planning a shooting at his school in January 2017. Leech claimed that it had been a “prank” and was let go with a warning.
Apart from his two-year prison sentence, Leech was also given a 12-month extended license period to be applied on completion of his prison sentence, plus 10 years on the sex offenders register, a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a 10-year notification requirement under Part Four of the Terrorism Act 2008.