The pair held racist, antisemitic and anti-authoritarian views, which they expressed in extreme terms with online discussions about potential armed uprisings and attacks on MPs.
Two conspiracy theorists who dubbed themselves “Bonnie and Clyde with a box of matches” have been found guilty of planning to destroy 5G phone masts and encouraging attacks on MPs.
Christine Grayson, 59, a grandmother from York, and Darren Reynolds, 60, a grandfather from Sheffield, believed 5G phone masts were designed to be used as a weapon against members of the public who had received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Grayson had bought two crossbows and Reynolds sought to reactivate replica assault rifles as they prepared for what they believed was the imminent collapse of society.
Reynolds, an electrician who lived alone in Sheffield and had a 28-year-old daughter and a grandchild, was found guilty of encouraging terrorism by calling for attacks on MPs.
Grayson, a divorced mother-of-two, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause criminal damage by planning to destroy 5G masts between May and June last year.
She had taken to visiting chatrooms on the encrypted Telegram app during lockdown where she heard arguments that the world was flat and discussions flourished about vaccines.
Her two sons told her to “stop listening to other people, stay away from idiots, just don’t listen”, she told the court.
Grayson began by collecting signatures to try and get a 5G mast near her home removed and filmed herself handing in “paperwork” at her local police station, demanding that they prosecute MPs over COVID vaccines.
Reynolds, who ran an online Telegram group called Constitutional Common Law England, told the court he had stopped watching TV and became interested in conspiracy theories after the 9/11 attacks.
He exchanged racist messages on Telegram, claiming Jews were behind mass immigration, calling for their “annihilation”, and saying that Boris Johnson and Michael Gove should be “eliminated”.
On 10 June 2021, Grayson told a Telegram user: “We can maybe get rid of the 5G towers, come up with summit together, keep it between ourselves, we can cause some f**kery.”
She described a friend as doing “all-sorts for the resistance” and went on to discuss various means by which 5G masts could be destroyed, including expanding foam, a substance called thermite, and angle grinders.
Grayson discussed the destruction of 5G masts with another Telegram user, saying she needed a “sabotage team”.