An A-level student, who bought a car bomb on the dark web in a plot to murder his parents because they did not approve of his girlfriend, has been jailed.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Gurtej Singh Randhawa, from Wolverhampton, plotted to kill his parents after his mother found he was having a relationship with a girl she disapproved of.

The 19-year-old was found guilty of maliciously possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life and had earlier admitted attempting to import explosives.

Fearing his parents would try to end his relationship, Randhawa tried to purchase a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) – or a car bomb, from a website called AlphaBay, on the dark web.

The Mail Online reported that Randhawa had asked questions online such as "what is the radius on the device?" and "would it make a big explosion if it was in stand still traffic?".

Randhawa was expecting what he believed was a remotely detonated explosive in May last year, but officers replaced the package with a safe dummy device.

The National Crime Agency's (NCA) Armed Operations Unit then watched as the package was delivered and saw Randhawa testing the dummy device.

The court was told that the defendant also attempted to purchase lethal drugs such as ricin and opioids a year earlier, but these were not delivered.

Randhawa of Grove Lane, was jailed for a total of eight years, while two women - aged 45 and 18 - who were arrested at the time, have since been released with no further action.

Sentencing Randhawa, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told Randhawa: "This was an offence of astonishing audacity.

"You obtained the explosives, so you thought, having paid for the device using crypto-currency and arranged for its delivery to an address away from your own home."

Tim Gregory from the NCA said: "The explosive device Randhawa sought to purchase online had the potential to cause serious damage and kill many people if he had been successful in using it.

"He was not involved in an organised crime group or linked to terrorism, but his actions show he is someone who poses a significant risk to the community.

"Identifying people like Randhawa - who seek to access illegal firearms and weapons - is a priority for the NCA and we will not stop in our efforts to make sure they are arrested and held accountable for their actions."