British internet troll Reece Elliott admits threats to kill 200 people that kept thousands of US pupils away from school
Friday 26 April 2013
A British internet troll has admitted threatening to kill 200 US citizens in Facebook posts which led thousands of children to kept away from school.
Father-of-one Reece Elliott, 24, of Fossway, South Shields, South Tyneside, went on a tribute site for a 17-year-old Tennessee girl who was killed in a car accident and left a series of terrifying messages under an assumed name.
With sensitivities heightened in the US following the Newtown shooting which saw 20 children and six adults shot in an elementary school, 3,000 pupils in the Warren County area missed school the next day, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Security was stepped up at schools across the area, as the authorities implemented "lockdown" with armed guards on duty and restricted access to sites.
Elliott appeared at court dressed in a grey top and admitted one count of making a threat to kill and eight of sending grossly offensive messages.
He has been held in custody since his arrest in February.
Using a false name, he wrote on the RIP Caitlin Talley page: "My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting him in a dumpster. Then I'm taking the motor and I'm going in fast.
"I'm gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself. So you want to tell the deputy, I'm on my way."
The court heard of the vile abuse Elliott directed at Caitlin, a popular pupil at Warren County High who had died in a car accident in October.
This included: "I'm glad the fat bitch is dead. Let's drink to drink driving. No-one gives a sh*t that she's dead, get over it.
"If I was there now I would rape you."
Using the same pseudonym, Elliott then posted the threats about driving into school.
He said: "I'm killing 200 people minimum at school. I will be on CNN."
At his first appearance at court, Gary Buckley, prosecuting, said: "The residents of Warren County and all the people who have access to the Facebook page were clearly concerned. I am told that the local authority immediately put all the local schools in the area on what was called lockdown.
"Because of the hysteria caused, around 3,000 children were kept off school on that specific day.
"Inquiries made by the FBI and Homeland Security managed to trace the user name to an address in this area.
"The American authorities contacted police and various inquiries were made in order to identify who made these postings.
"It would appear that Reece Elliott was well aware that he was wanted.
"He handed himself into South Shields Police Station.
"He said he was a part-time troll. He said he decided to post offensive comments to see what kind of reaction he could provoke.
"He was asked if he knew what had been going on recently and he said he was well aware of the recent incidents following the shootings in schools.
"He confirmed he did post the postings on Facebook and therefore did make these threats but he didn't expect the threats to be taken seriously and didn't expect them to cause the reaction they did."
Mr Buckley said by using the US terms "dumpster" and "deputy" he made his threats seem more believable to local people.
Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve