Tameside teen pleads guilty to buying deadly biological toxin on web to kill himself

A 16-year-old Tameside boy has today pleaded guilty to attempting to acquire a deadly biological toxin with a view to taking his own life.

On Feburary 6, the teenager attempted to place an order on the ‘dark web’ for abrin – a natural poison found in the seeds of a plant called the rosary pea or jequirity.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Manchester Youth Court today pleading guilty to attempting to acquire a biological toxin or agent contrary to the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 and section one of the Biological Weapons Act 1974.

The North West Counter Terrorism Unit sting saw enforcement officers covertly in communication with the 16-year-old over the dark web as he expressed an interest in purchasing the deadly toxin, which is 30 times more lethal than ricin.

According to police, the boy ‘showed awareness of the drug’s toxicity and the potential for it to be used to cause considerable harm’.

On February 6, he attempted to place an order, indicating that he would make future purchases in larger quantities. Ten days later, warrants were executed at two Mossley addresses.

The 16-year-old boy was arrested, along with a girl of the same age as part of the investigation, but she was later released without charge.

The teenager will be sentenced on April 20.

Image courtesy of Tatters and Google Maps, with thanks

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