Teen charged with terrorism offence for alleged plans to attack LGBT Pride event

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A teenager who allegedly made threats to attack people attending an LGBT Pride event has been charged with a terrorism offence.

Ethan Stables, 19, of Egerton Court in Barrow, was arrested last week following claims of threats against those planning to attend the event at the New Empire pub in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in north-west England.

Cumbria Police confirmed in a statement: “A man has been charged with a terrorism offence in Cumbria.

Police officers

Police officers (Getty Images)

“Ethan Stables, aged 19, of Egerton Court, Barrow, has been charged with an offence under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

“He has been remanded into custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow, Thursday 29 June 2017.”

It continued: “Cumbria Counter Terrorism officers are continuing to work with colleagues from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.”

Section 58 of the terrorism act reads: “A person commits an offence if:

a) he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

b) he possesses a document or record containing information of that kind.”

The New Empire welcomed the charges with a post on its Facebook page quoting the police statement and simply adding: “Well done.”

It previously pledged to push on with plans to hold another Pride event within a month of the incident.

The statement read: “Thanks also to the police for making sure everyone was safe! We had a fantastic night and appreciate all the messages of support.

“We will be holding another LGBT Pride night in four weeks time and hope people join us for that (open to all).”

After the initial arrest, Cumbria Police had referred the matter to the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU).

Superintendent Mark Pannone said at the time: “I can reassure the community that we have robust procedures in place to respond to reports of suspicious activity and we will continue to work closely with our local communities to help keep Cumbria safe.

“Over the last few weeks we have increased patrols in our neighbourhoods and at local events to prioritise the safety of the public and would ask for people to continue to be alert and report any suspicious activity to police.

“There is no place for hate crime in Cumbria, and it will not be tolerated.”

At that time the alleged threats had not been declared a terrorist incident, but it was decided that the NWCTU be best-placed to lead the investigation.