A BOY accused of planning to kill students and teachers in his school claimed his talk of carrying out a school shooting was just “offensive humour”.

Two boys from North Yorkshire are standing trial at Leeds Crown Court, charged with planning to carry out a mass killing at a school in Northallerton.

The teenagers, who were aged 14 at the time of arrest last year and cannot be named for legal reasons, both deny the charges.

The older of the two also denies two further charges of aggravated burglary by breaking into his girlfriend’s home armed with a knife and unlawfully wounding his former girlfriend by carving his name into her back.

Today, the jury heard transcripts of police interviews with the older of the two boys, following his arrest on October 28.

Police showed him items seized from a rucksack near his “hideout” in Catterick Garrison, which included a bag of nails, petrol in a plastic bottle and a long, black trench coat. He claimed a bag of nails found was to board up the shed and the trench coat was “just a long coat to keep warm” because it was cold outside.

Officers told him that his 14-year-old friend, the co-defendant, told them in his interview that he had thought the references to carrying out a school shooting were “all a joke” until, over time, the other boy became specific about his plans and showed him where he intended to plant bombs on a map of the school in Northallerton.

The teenager replied the map was simply to find out where his lessons were, saying: “We would joke about all kinds of things but my circle has a dark kind of humour, kind of offensive like Frankie Boyle or Chubby Brown.”

He said he shared pages from a manual on explosives with the younger boy – which included how to make nail bombs and converting a rifle into a grenade-launcher – because they were curious, but he didn’t intend to make anything from the manual.

During a police interview, the older boy was shown a photograph of a t-shirt with “Natural Selection” written on it, which had been retrieved from a kitchen bin in a home.

The boy claimed to police it was a gift from his girlfriend and his mum found it and binned it.

He told police: “I don’t agree with it but if you go walking around with a t-shirt that says “Natural Selection” it just seems really bad because it’s associated with Columbine and Hitler so we don’t want to be parading around with a t-shirt like that.

“My mum found it and knew what the t-shirt explained, so she binned it because of what it said.”

He was asked by police to explain his views on the Columbine shooting, in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves at a High School in Colorado.

He said: “It was a tragic and disturbing event, but I do believe the perpetrators were victims; everyone was a victim in that. It may not be a popular opinion but they were victims as well. They were victims of other things going on about them, but I do not condone what they did.”

The older teenager was also shown a piece of paper with drawings and writing on it and asked what the writing meant.

He said they were offensive things written in German. He said he’d written them in science and computer studies by putting phrases into Google translate and they’d been in his home because he had put the paper in his blazer pocket at school.

He told police the phrases said “Kill the Jews”, “Gas the Jews”, “They’re in the attic” and “Hitler did nothing wrong” and “shower time”.

He said the writing was “shock humour” in the style of Frankie Boyle and didn’t agree with the phrases or understand the “realness of it”.

The trial continues.

Editor's Note: There is a section 45 order in place prohibiting the identification of both defendants and all under-age witnesses