Teenager admits sending menacing social media messages including picture of him holding imitation gun whilst saying: ‘Getting ready for school’

Coleraine Courthouse

A teenager has pleaded guilty to sending menacing social media messages including a picture of him holding an imitation firearm accompanied by the phrase: ‘Getting ready for school’.

The boy, now 17, who cannot be named because of his age, was 15 at the time of the offences.

Today, at the Youth Court in Coleraine, guilty pleas were entered to three charges of ‘sending menacing messages via electronic communications’.

He pleaded guilty to a charge that ‘on a date unknown between the 9th of September 2016 and the 13th day of September 2016’ he ‘sent by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, namely sent a picture of you holding an imitation firearm, in that it had the appearance of being a firearm, together with the comment ‘getting ready for school’.’

The second charge he has admitted involved sending a message which stated: ‘Tryna figure out what to listen to before I go on my school shooting spree. Gotta make sure I pick the right song’.

The third charge the boy pleaded guilty to was sending a message ‘showing a person making a gun gesture followed by the words ‘tic toc’.’

The teen also admitted six other charges.

A Youth Conference Plan has been requested by the court and the case was adjourned until July.

In 2016 police said in a press statement a 15-year-old boy was arrested ‘after a communication on social media to some pupils at a school’.

Police at the time said they attended the school on the morning of Monday September 12 ‘and spoke with the principal to ensure the safety of pupils’.

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