A TEENAGE far-right extremist accused of planning to blow up a police station to start a race war has insisted he never intended to carry out the terror attack.

Luke Skelton took photographs of a city centre police station and CCTV cameras on a nearby hotel during an alleged ‘hostile reconnaissance’ of Newcastle.

The 18-year-old accepted he had taken the images found on his phone but maintained it was all part of an ‘ego boosting fantasy’ while he was giving evidence at Teesside Crown Court.

Nicholas De La Poer QC, prosecuting, challenged the defendant about his intentions to launch a terrorist attack on the police station, during cross examination.

Skelton replied: “It was part of my fantasy. It was just the fantasy of going there and taking photographs in order to big myself up and then just forget about them.”

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Mr Poer asked the defendant why he had taken the photographs of the hotel near to the Forth Banks police station.

Skelton replied: “It was part of my fantasy and about feeding my ego.”

Mr Poer asked: “Were you checking out whether Forth Banks station would be a good target for a terrorist attack?” The teenager replied: “No.”

His mother Deborah Skelton told jurors how her son was diagnosed autistic as a young child and had led a lonely life in his teens. She said he spent a lot of his time on the internet but accepted that she was unable to monitor all of his online activities.

During his evidence in chief, the court heard how Skelton would post the messages on a number of social media platforms in an attempt to provoke a reaction from people but never planned to actually carry out any ‘terrorist attack’.

The Northern Echo: The alleged target of Luke Skelton's terrorist plot Forth Banks Police Station. Picture: GOOGLEThe alleged target of Luke Skelton's terrorist plot Forth Banks Police Station. Picture: GOOGLE

Earlier in the trial, jurors heard how he shared a number of racist and abusive videos across social media networks and shared his views for around a year before he was arrested, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Skelton also created a ‘final note’ explaining the reasoning behind his plan to incite a race war by launching terrorist attacks after talking of his admiration for Adolf Hitler and British Fascist Oswald Mosely.

The autistic teenager travelled to Newcastle from his Washington home to photograph one of the city’s police stations as well as creating his own ‘political manifesto’ supporting white supremacist theories.

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Jurors heard how he took to online social media networks to share his race hate and downloaded videos of other terrorist attacks including one of Anders Breivik, a far-right terrorist who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Skelton, of Oxclose, Washington, denies a charge of preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

The jury is expected to retire tomorrow as the trial continues.

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