A police tipoff from a concerned Facebook friend stopped a college reject from carrying out a mass killing at a Newcastle college and on the city metro with a dark web-sourced firearm, knives, bombs and poison gas, a court has heard.
The man said he planned to carry out a massacre at Newcastle College using a pistol and bombs, and carry out an attack on the city’s underground tube system with knives and lethal gas.
Liam Lyburd, 19, told police he would have committed the crimes within hours, but he was stopped when his home was raided by officers after a tipoff from a concerned Facebook friend.
Lyburd, who posted on social media under the names “The Joker” and “I Love my Anger,” told the court: “I wanted to kill them people … there’s no question.”
The court also heard the student had stockpiled a 9mm Glock pistol, ammunition, and other explosive devices in his bedroom.He also told one friend he intended to go “down in style.” His social media posts referenced far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, whose 2011 Oslo bombing and mass shooting on the island of Utøya left 77 dead.
The detectives who searched his room also found a “kill bag” containing gloves, boots, overalls and a gasmask.
The defendant admitted to the court that he was in possession of pipe bombs, the pistol, two CS gas canisters, and other explosive devices, but denies he intended to endanger lives. He further claimed he planned to kill his mother.
Prosecuting lawyer Nick Fry told the court that police intervened just hours before the attack.
“He stated he intended to carry out a mass murder at Newcastle College that very day and that the officers had saved lives, preventing what would have otherwise have been a massacre at the college.”
Fry added that investigators found images of the defendant wearing combat gear and posing with weapons, as well as Skype conversation records about the acquisition of his deadly goods.
“Those were items the defendant accepted in interview he had bought using bitcoins, the decentralized internet currency, from the dark or deep web, the black market where illegal commodities are known to be traded.
“He discussed shooting commuters on the Newcastle Metro system, stating that he would be on Valium at the time. He said he had 95 rounds of ammunition and also planned to use poison gas on a train, resorting to his machete and knives in the event that his gun jammed.”Lyburd was expelled from college in 2012 due to poor behavior and attendance.
A document found on his computer showed his intention to take vengeance against the college.
“You people ruined my whole life, don’t expect me to show mercy today. No one disrespects me and gets away with it,” he wrote.
The trial continues.