Former student convicted of planning massacre at Newcastle College
A teenager has been convicted of planning a massacre at his former college after he amassed a fearsome arsenal of weapons.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Liam Lyburd had bought weapons on the internet and wanted “vengeance” on Newcastle College because it had kicked him out two years before.
Police found a "kill bag" containing homemade pipe bombs, a semi-automatic handgun and 94 bullets when they raided 19-year-old Lyburd 's home in Newcastle in November.
Police were tipped off by a member of the public about online posts Lyburd made under a different name talking about launching a murderous attack.
They found the cache of weapons in his bedroom, which he rarely left, along with overalls and a mask. A computer specialist recovered a deleted file on his laptop in which he wrote about “getting vengeance” on the college.
It said: "You people ruined my whole life, don't expect me to show mercy today. No one disrespects me and gets away with it.
"Fantasy will become reality today for sure. Where the mind goes the body will follow and, yes, people will die, there's no question about that."
Lyburd told police officers they had saved lives, preventing what would have been a massacre at the college.
Lyburd had admitted nine charges relating to making five pipe bombs, two home-made explosive devices, possessing a 9mm Luger Calibre Glock gun, hollow-point ammunition and CS gas, but denied eight charges of possessing those items with an intent to endanger life.
He claimed webcam pictures of himself armed and dressed for combat were to draw attention to himself and get a reaction as he was lonely.
He said he had no intention of shooting anyone, but Nick Dry, prosecuting, told the court it was no fantasy and there was every intent to endanger life.
A jury convicted him of all eight charges after a trial. He will be sentenced on 25 September.
A spokesman 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."