A judge has given a “second chance” to a white supremacist who admitted downloading instructions for making explosives.
George Fowle, 20, from Kent, accessed “correct and viable” guides online, the Old Bailey was told.
The teenager with an “extreme right-wing and racist mindset” pleaded guilty to terrorism offences and was give a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Fowle was arrested at Heathrow Airport in June while on his way to a summer camp in the U.S.
Police said they found a phone which contained a video of the mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and social media posts showing that Fowle “admired” far-right figures, including Adolf Hitler.
But Judge Mark Dennis QC told Fowle that he was being given an opportunity to “change his ways” and spared him a jail sentence.
Sentencing Fowle, the judge said: “You have purported to embrace a vile mindset, which should have no place in a tolerant, democratic and peaceful society… I hope you listened to my words. You are being given a chance today. It’s not ‘mend your ways’, it’s ‘change your ways’. Wake up to how dreadful your views were and how dreadful your conduct was. You are part of a civilised society.”
Judge Dennis said the 20-month sentence in a young offenders institution, suspended for two years, would reduce the risk he re-engaged with extremism.
An investigation had found that Fowle had an “interest in explosives, firearms and mass casualty incidents in public places such as schools”, said prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds.
Investigators also found a Snapchat comment sent by Fowle on 10 June, which said: “I want to petrol bomb Camp America.”
The North Kent College pupil was referred to the government’s anti-terror Prevent scheme in March 2019 after a classmate warned teachers he could become a “school shooter,” the court heard.
Gavin Holme, defending, said Fowle’s guilty pleas showed his “remorse and responsibility”. “This is a young man who the authorities can work with, and not against,” he said.
Det Ch Supt Kath Barnes, of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: “Although 17 at the time, there is no doubt that Fowle has demonstrated the mindset of a right-wing terrorist, and given his interest in mass casualty incidents and his research into explosives, it’s vital that he has been convicted.”