Britain’s youngest terrorist who was jailed for life aged 14 for plotting to murder police officers has been granted lifelong anonymity, after his lawyers argued he could become an “poster boy” for Islamic State he is identified.
The teenager from Blackburn, Lancashire, referred to only as RXG, admitted inciting terrorism overseas in 2015 after he exchanged more than 3,000 encrypted messages with Australian jihadist Sevdet Besim.
Writing from his bedroom, RXG convinced Besim, then aged 18, to run over and behead police officers guarding Anzac Day parade in Melbourne. Held on April 25 each year, it commemorates Australian and New Zealand personnel killed in conflicts.
The plot was foiled after British officers discovered the incriminating messages on RXG’s phone and alerted police in Australia.
RXG, who has autism, was given automatic anonymity like the majority of child offenders until his current age of 18, when reporting restrictions are usually lifted and identities revealed.
But the teenager, who could be released from prison as early as next year, has now won a year-long High Court battle for lifelong anonymity – a legal challenge never before seen in a terrorism case in the UK.
The President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp, handed down the judgement during a brief hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London today.