Man, 22, cleared of plotting to carry out ‘spree killing’ inspired by ‘incel’ movement

An internet obsessive has been convicted of having weapons including a crossbow and machete but cleared of plotting to carry out ‘a spree killing’ inspired by the ‘involuntary celibate’ movement. 

Gabrielle Friel, 22, was found guilty by majority of having a crossbow, scope, crossbow arrows, a machete and a ballistic vest at various locations in Edinburgh between June 1 and August 16 last year.  

They included his home, a social work centre and a hospital, in circumstances giving rise to the reasonable suspicion that possessing these was for a purpose connected with terrorism.

However, Friel was cleared by majority verdict of preparing for terrorist acts by conducting online research in relation to spree killings, particularly those expressing motivation or affiliation for incels.  

He had been accused of having ‘expressed affinity with and sympathy for one incel-motivated mass murderer’ and to have expressed ‘a desire to carry out a spree killing mass murder’.

Followers in the incel movement blame attractive men and women for their inability to find a sexual partner. 

The subculture first turned violent when American Elliot Rodger murdered six of his fellow students before killing himself at the University of California in May 2014.   

Gabrielle Frield, 22, has been convicted of having weapons including a crossbow and machete but cleared of plotting to carry out 'a spree killing' inspired by the 'involuntary celibate' movement

Gabrielle Frield, 22, has been convicted of having weapons including a crossbow and machete but cleared of plotting to carry out 'a spree killing' inspired by the 'involuntary celibate' movement

Gabrielle Frield, 22, has been convicted of having weapons including a crossbow and machete but cleared of plotting to carry out ‘a spree killing’ inspired by the ‘involuntary celibate’ movement

The jury previously heard Friel appeared to ‘almost idolise’ US killer Elliot Rodger. 

During his trial, items recovered by police were presented to the court.

They were shown during evidence from Khaldoun Kabbani, a forensic scientist from the Scottish Police Authority who focuses on ballistics and weapons, including the science of bullets and projectiles.

Was on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and accused of 'expressing a desire to carry out a spree killing mass murder'. Pictured: Edinburgh High Court

Was on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and accused of 'expressing a desire to carry out a spree killing mass murder'. Pictured: Edinburgh High Court

Was on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and accused of ‘expressing a desire to carry out a spree killing mass murder’. Pictured: Edinburgh High Court 

A report suggested the crossbow was in ‘good external condition’ and ‘in working order’, with the specifications stating it could fire arrows at 340ft per second and had a draw weight of 175lb.

When advocate depute Richard Goddard asked if that was a considerable weight, Mr Kabbani replied ‘yes’.

Mr Goddard also asked about the registration of crossbows, to which Mr Kabbani read out a document stating they ‘cannot be considered firearms’ but there is legislation on the sale of those with a draw weight over 1.4kg (3lb).

The court heard Friel had 'expressed affinity with and sympathy for one incel-motivated mass murderer' and the jury previously heard he appeared to 'almost idolise' US killer Elliot Rodger (pictured)

The court heard Friel had 'expressed affinity with and sympathy for one incel-motivated mass murderer' and the jury previously heard he appeared to 'almost idolise' US killer Elliot Rodger (pictured)

The court heard Friel had ‘expressed affinity with and sympathy for one incel-motivated mass murderer’ and the jury previously heard he appeared to ‘almost idolise’ US killer Elliot Rodger (pictured)

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