Birmingham man among four jailed for National Action membership
Four people have been jailed today (9 June) for being members of the banned extreme right-wing neo-Nazi group National Action.
The three men and one woman were found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court on 19 March after a previous trial resulted in a hung jury in June last year. One other man had admitted membership of the group before the first trial.
The second nine-week trial was the culmination of a two year investigation into right-wing terrorism which had already seen eight people imprisoned for National Action membership as well as other offences.
National Action was formed in 2013 and in December 2016 became the first organisation to be banned by the government since World War II.
The group became members of National Action pre-proscription and regularly met to share their extreme ideology and attend demonstrations, however when the organisation was banned, they continued to communicate covertly using encrypted messaging platforms. They held secret meetings to discuss their ambitions for a race war whilst recruiting other young people to the group, sharing intensely shocking images mocking the holocaust and glorifying Hitler.
And today group leaders Alice Cutter, aged 24, and her partner 25-year-old Mark Jones, both from Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge, Halifax were jailed for three years and five and a half years respectively. Garry Jack, aged 24 from Heathland Avenue, Shard End, Birmingham was jailed for four and a half years and Connor Scothern, aged 19 from Bagnall Avenue, Arnold, Nottingham, received an 18 month jail term. They were told they will have to serve at least two thirds of their sentence before they can apply for parole.
Daniel Ward, aged 29 from Highmore Drive, Bartley Green, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at a previous court hearing and was jailed for three years on 19 July last year.
Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU), Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell said: “We have seen a significant increase of right-wing referrals to our Prevent programme and we will investigate the threat as robustly as we would any other terrorist group, as well as training our officers on the signs to look out for and working with communities to increase awareness.
“Terrorists and extremists use this kind of ideology to create discord, distrust and fear among our communities and we strive to counter this. I would encourage people to report hate crime to us and it will be taken seriously."
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