The public is reminded of the crucial importance of taking early action and reporting concerning behavior, as a 17-year-old male was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment last week (Friday, November 10) for a total of eleven offences.

This includes one offence of preparing an act of terrorism and three offences of rape.

Joe Metcalfe from Haworth in West Yorkshire faced trials in two different courts. On March 30, 2023, he was found guilty by a jury at Leeds Crown Court of preparing for an act of terrorism for extreme right-wing purposes. Fortunately, officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North-East (CTP NE) swiftly prevented him from doing so.

During an earlier court appearance in January 2023, the defendant pleaded guilty to six additional offences, including four offences of disseminating terrorist publications, one offence of encouragement of terrorism, and one offence of possessing a bladed article.

The defendant was arrested by officers from CTP NE in June 2022. Following his arrest, the investigation team thoroughly documented the preparatory steps the defendant had taken as part of his plan to commit an act of terrorism.

His digital search history revealed a crude extreme right-wing mindset, and he idolized convicted international terrorists.

He was also tried by Leeds Youth Court and, on Monday, July 11th, was found guilty of three offences of rape and one offence of controlling/coercive behaviour.

Although he appealed these convictions in October 2023, the court upheld them, and the verdict remains in place.

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North- East, Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley said:

“We are satisfied that this individual acted in isolation and our quick response prevented this escalating further’.

“We have successfully worked alongside partners to ensure that this individual has been brought to justice’

“I hope this provides yet another example of how robustly we will deal with this type of behaviour and these actions. It will not be tolerated.’

“If you are worried about someone you know expressing extreme views or hatred, then please trust your instincts and ACT Early to prevent people becoming involved in terrorism. I cannot stress that enough and you will not be wasting our time’.

“We want you to know that support is out there both for you and those you are worried about. By contacting The ACT Early website (www.actearly.uk) you can access specially trained staff who will confidentially listen to your concerns and consider the right approach to get that person the help they need before they go too far”.

Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, Nick Price said; “Although he spent time watching and sharing violent, racist, homophobic and antisemitic videos, these were not idle fantasies. He made a detailed plan to murder Muslims at a nearby mosque while disguised as an armed police officer, record the killings and escape’.

“He stole his father’s car to carry out a reconnaissance mission, contacted a gun seller to try and secretly ship a weapon to the UK, and but for apprehension intended to carry out the attack’.

“Despite his young age his beliefs and willingness to take violent action to propagate them are a threat to our society, and it is right that he has been sentenced today for those crimes.”

“Temporary Chief Superintendent Richard Padwell of Bradford District said; “We appreciate that this case will understandably cause concern, particularly within our local Muslim communities’.

“We are sincerely grateful for the continued support, patience and dignity shown by our communities throughout this process’

“Public safety remains our priority at all times and our local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will continue to be visible and available to speak with people regarding any concerns they may have’

“This case is an example of how we work effectively with Counter Terrorism Policing North East, and other partners, to act on information to protect the public’.

“ An extensive and thorough investigation has led to this prosecution and we will continue to act on any intelligence that indicates a potential threat to our communities’.

“Vigilance plays a vital role in keeping everyone safe. We would always encourage people to remain vigilant and to report any concerns or suspicious activity to police in confidence on 0800 789321. In an emergency, always dial 999.”