HE SEEMED, to all intents and purposes, like any other Leeds teenager.
Apparently shy, an interest in music – nothing that would mark him out as different to thousands of young boys across the city.
Today, however, the 15-year-old is at the centre of a case that has shocked the nation.
The “really clever” teenager – who cannot be named for legal reasons – lives with his mother in a semi-detached house in a cul-de-sac in east Leeds. There was no one at home yesterday, with two police officers on duty outside the property.
One neighbour said the teen’s family was “just ordinary” and seemed “very nice”.
Another resident said: “I have lived here for years and have maybe had half-a-dozen quick conversations with the mum in all that time. She would be passing and we’d say ‘good morning’ or ‘nice day’.” A third neighbour said: “He’s the last person round here I’d expect to be involved in something like this. In fact, he’s always seemed quite shy.”
The boy’s father lives in a large house in a well-heeled village north of Leeds. Yesterday a lone police officer stood outside the property, which had the curtains in its downstairs front room closed.
The music section on the teenager’s Facebook page, meanwhile, lists rock bands such as A Day To Remember and Enter Shikari.
The page also carries what appears to be a photo of the boy himself, sporting long dark hair. Elsewhere is a picture with more sinister overtones – a hand-drawn image of a grim reaper.
None of it, though, provides any real clue as to the thoughts of the teenager being questioned by detectives yesterday.