Teens Who Threatened High School Massacre Released From Jail
Two teenagers who threatened to carry out a high school massacre in South Australia's Riverland have had their jail terms suspended.
The pair, who in April 2017 threatened to commit a mass shooting at their school's end of year presentation later that year, were released on Thursday after 18 months in custody.
The duo are now aged 18 and 20, but can't be identified because one was underage at the time of the offending.
They pleaded guilty in April this year to aggravated counts of threatening life. They were dressed as Columbine school shooters for Halloween when they made the threats to carry out a massacre. They had originally been accused of actively planning to follow through on their threats, but those charges were later dropped.
During the investigation, a collection of weapons was discovered at the home of one of the boys, including knives and homemade body armour. Lawyers for the younger man argued they were just a harmless hobby.
Defence lawyers also previously told the court the pair's threats were just a fantasy, and that one of the boys had endured severe bullying at school.
The court heard the pair had initially bonded because they both considered themselves to be outcasts, and they had been drinking when they made the threats and when they also filmed a molotov cocktail exploding.
"Both of you show insight into the wrongfulness of your conduct and the harm it has caused so many people, and expressed real desire to better yourselves and not do such terrible things again," Justice Nicholson said during sentencing on Thursday.
"If you accept the help that will be offered to you in the community, and avoid drugs and alcohol, your prospects should be seen as promising."
Justice Nicholson ordered six months jail for both men, but suspended the terms and placed them on three year good behaviour bonds.
Both men were immediately released to their families.
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