Massacre plot accused 'said he would torch school'

By Lucy Collins,Press Association
Saturday 22 October 2011 22:19

A teenager accused of planning a copycat Columbine massacre at his school told friends he would "torch" it, a jury heard today.

Matthew Swift, 18, and his friend, Ross McKnight, 16, allegedly plotted to bomb a shopping centre and shoot students at Audenshaw High School in Greater Manchester.

A female friend and fellow sixth form pupil, who cannot be named, told Manchester Crown Court that Swift would fly into a rage if told off by a teacher and claimed he hated school.

Recalling their conversations, she said: "He said he hated the place and wished he'd never come there.

"He wanted to torch it. His words would be quite violent, he wanted to burn it down or break windows."

She also told prosecutor Peter Wright QC that Swift was "quite funny" but that "sometimes he would have a bit of a bad temper and say stuff I didn't really take to mean much - he said throwaway things".