Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 20:58 UK

Drunk call revealed alleged plot

Matthew Swift and Ross McKnight
The prosecution allege the pair also planned to bomb a shopping centre

A 16-year-old accused of plotting a Columbine-inspired massacre said he was drunk and upset when he told a girl he thought about bombing his school.

Ross McKnight and Matthew Swift, 18, are alleged to have planned to attack Audenshaw High School in Greater Manchester on 20 April 2009.

Manchester Crown Court heard the pair were arrested following a conversation by one of them with the girl.

They deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.

The court has heard claims the pair became obsessed with the shooting in Colorado by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 12 students and a teacher on 20 April 1999.

The alleged plot by the accused - called Project Rainbow - was revealed after Ross McKnight rang the girl in March 2009 - three days after a school massacre in Germany.

The basics of what I said to her was that in 2007 me and Matthew had thought and discussed about causing an explosion at Audenshaw High School
Ross McKnight

Giving evidence, he said he phoned the girl, who cannot be named, from a party where he had taken cocaine and drunk whisky and cider.

He told his barrister, Roderick Carus QC, that he did not know why he had spoken about the "so-called plan".

"The basics of what I said to her was that in 2007 me and Matthew had thought and discussed about causing an explosion at Audenshaw High School.

"I think before and after I spoke about Audenshaw High School I was telling her about how I liked her more than her boyfriend and would not mind being her boyfriend."

Audenshaw School

Mr Carus asked if he was "getting emotionally upset" when the girl did not seem "receptive".

"Yes," said the teenager.

He then said that his co-accused had put the idea in his head after talking about the German school shooting.

Giving evidence about the arrival of police at his home to arrest him, the teenager said he was "quite shocked".

Both defendants, who are from Denton, claim references to a massacre made in their journals and in online conversations were "fantasy".

Earlier, a former classmate of the teenager's co-defendant told the court he did not believe his friend was really going to blow up the school.

Phillip McFalone, 18, said the defendant had discussed his thoughts but what he had written was "daft".

The trial was adjourned until Monday.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Friend thought bomb plot 'daft'
11 Sep 09 |  Manchester
Columbine film 'inspired' accused
09 Sep 09 |  Manchester
Youths 'plotted massacre online'
07 Sep 09 |  Manchester
Ex-pupil 'wanted to torch school'
04 Sep 09 |  Manchester
Boy 'wanted to shoot 'em up'
03 Sep 09 |  Manchester
Boys 'wanted to blow up school'
02 Sep 09 |  Manchester

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific