A judge has jailed a teenager for life because it was “only a matter of time” before the loner carried out a massacre at his former college.
Liam Lyburd, 19, had amassed a fearsome arsenal of pipe bombs, a Glock semi-automatic pistol, 94 expanding bullets, a machete, and a “kill bag”, and planned revenge on Newcastle College.
It had kicked him out for bad behaviour. His plan to go on a killing spree was foiled by a concerned Facebook contact, who saw his online rants and alerted the police.
Judge Paul Sloan jailed him for life, with a minimum term of eight years, but said it could be “a very long time” before he was considered safe enough for release.
Lyburd did not react when the judge passed sentence.
“Hearing the evidence in this case was, to say the least, a chilling experience,” the judge said. “Your emotional coldness and detachment, and your lack of empathy to others, were self-evident.”
Judge Sloan told Lyburd that if someone had not tipped off the police, “it was only a matter of time before you would have put your plan into action”.
After being thrown out of college in 2012, Lyburd retreated into a reclusive online world, rarely leaving his bedroom, and amassed his arsenal using the Dark Web to buy illicit items.
He was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court, having admitted possessing the firearms and bombs and being found guilty of having them with intent to endanger life.
When police raided his home last November, they found the weapons, the bag containing his overalls, mask, boots, and pipe bombs, and incriminating evidence on his laptop.
A computer specialist recovered a deleted file in which Lyburd had written 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. I’ll teach you people a little lesson on respect, with my 9mm, jacketed hollow points.
“It’s time for extreme civil disobedience. 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.”
As Lyburd was taken away by police, he laughed and told officers they had saved lives, adding: “I need help.”
Psychiatrists could not specify a time when Lyburd would cease to be a danger to the public, said Nick Dry, prosecuting.
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