A Surrey man who ran a number of extreme right wing group chats and shared how to make explosives and firearms online has been convicted.

Michael Nugent, 37, of Ashford, has been convicted of terrorism offences after showing people how to deliver bombs as Amazon packages.

According to Met Police, Nugent used different personas in the chat rooms, and expressed his racist views and hatred of ethnic minorities.

But the investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command linked the various online accounts to Nugent’s real-world identity and he was arrested and convicted as a result.

Following his arrest on August 19, 2020, he was interviewed over seven days but gave no comment.

Nugent was initially charged with 12 Terrorism Act offences and first appeared in court on August 25, where a further six charges were subsequently added.

On May 13, 2021, Nugent pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications and 11 counts of possession of a document containing information likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

He pleaded not guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism, and these charges were ordered to lie on file.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Nugent was an active member of internet chat rooms where he freely shared his abhorrent extremist views with others.

“He sought to influence and encourage other members to commit acts of violence, and passed on manuals detailing how to produce deadly weapons and explosive devices.

“However, he was stopped when he was arrested by counter terrorism officers.

“The police investigation unearthed a huge amount of incriminating evidence which forced Nugent to admit to his offences before trial.

“This is another case which shows how harmful online extremism is.

“That is why it is important that anyone who believes that they have a friend or loved one who has been or is vulnerable to radicalisation seeks help.”

Nugent is due to be sentenced next month on June 23.

Surry Comet

A racist who claimed to be ‘more extreme than Tommy Robinson’ has been jailed after tweeting calling for ‘civil war’.

White supremacist Tobias Powell, 33, sent a series of tweets including showing a photo of his Nazi tattoo and and said: ‘Civil war is the only way… at first it will be a blood bath’.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard one image posted online showed his dog with a paw raised alongside text that said: ‘Sieg heil.’

Drug addict Powell shared ‘extreme right-wing language’ and published ‘anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic posts and retweets,’ prosecutor Amy Packham said.

Counter-terror investigators found a mass of far-right material at his home in Pagham in a February 2019 raid.

Investigators found Powell had set up his Apple ID using the name Adolph Hitler, and played the football game Fifa with ‘Nazi’ on the back of a player’s shirt. He named the player using a racist epithet and ‘killer’.

He also shared tweets by former American president Donald Trump and far-right figures including Nick Griffin, Tommy Robinson and American white supremacist David Lane, Ms Packham said

His posts online also showed support for proscribed far-right group National Action.

An email found by police revealed he claimed to have done ‘10 years of research’ and as a ‘white lad’ had now decided to ‘become active in a movement’ committed to ‘furthering the white race’.

“I have been trying to find a serious and like-minded group of brothers I can join and fight alongside,” he said.

“I have no problem shooting off a kneecap or scalping a radical Imam or removing the penis of one of the (men involved in child abuse in Rotherham).”

Powell, whose barrister suggested he tweeted while in a ‘twisted mind’ high on cocaine and drunk, also posted an image of a tattoo on his right thigh showing the Celtic Cross, Swastika and Iron Cross.

In the tweets posted between July and October in 2018 he also called murdered MP Jo Cox an ‘alleged open traitor and enemy of the people’.

Ms Packham said officers saw Powell had posted online ‘images of the defendant’s dog with his paw raised with ‘sieg heil’ next to it’.

Jailing him for three years, judge Timothy Mousely QC said: “This was vile, offensive, abusive and threatening language which intended by you to incite racial hatred.

“I am quite satisfied that you demonstrated attitudes towards many different ethnic groups, religious groups and people of different sexualities which are abhorrent to most people and you’ve done it over a significant period of time.

“I am also quite satisfied that your views and the ways you’ve expressed them is particularly worrying, and deeply entrenched, and have been for many years.

“They’re far-reaching and they’re obsessive.”

Among the material found was an email titled ‘Brexit Stitch Up’ he wrote to then prime minister Theresa May describing her as a ‘snake’.

He also wrote a letter to MP Nick Gibbs about his concerns over Sharia law.

Powell, of Wythering Close, was found guilty of four charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour intending thereby to stir up racial hatred.

He denied the charges but was convicted by district judge Tan Ikram at Worthing Magistrates’ Court last month.

At his trial Powell claimed he was not racist and did not intend to stir up racial hatred.

Pierce Power, mitigating, said: ‘He’s certainly no Tommy Robinson, he’s in no position to influence anyone.

“He is what he is, which is a rather pathetic individual who holds unattractive views and nothing more serious than that.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of the south east’s counter-terror policing unit, previously said: “Whilst this was not a terrorism case, the nature of the rhetoric Powell had shared on social media, meant that it was only right for specialist officers from Counter Terrorism Policing to conduct a thorough investigation.”

Bognor Observer

A RACIST lout is once again back behind bars over his latest bout of “nasty” abuse.

Ryan Breach admitted two racist harassment offences in Hove and Worthing.

The 31-year-old, with distinctive facial tattoos, has been in and out of prison, notably for breaching a court order which bans him from entering Brighton city centre.

He had shown a “wilful and persistent” disregard for court orders with “continuous breaches”.

Last month he appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court where he admitted two new offences.

The first was on August 15 last year where Breach racially abused Dr Stephan Weber in Hove.

He used abusive, insulting or threatening behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Breach also admitted racist abuse towards Vinojan Vijayakmur in Worthing on October 10 last year.

Magistrate Gavin Oclee-Brown noted both crimes were “racially aggravated, nasty offences”.

Breach was jailed for a total of eight weeks and was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victims.

The money will be deducted from his benefits.

Previously, The Argus reported how Breach was jailed in January for being “non-compliant” with orders designed to curb his antisocial behaviour.

Breach appeared in court on January 12, with magistrates sending him back to prison for 12 weeks.

In April 2019 Breach, now of Brighton Road, Selden, popped out of court for a “cigarette” break, and moments later was left unable to even stand up.

A court guard said: “He has been extremely aggressive and threatening. I think he has taken some sort of substance.

“We tried to carry him down the front stairs, he isn’t capable of walking.

“I think he has taken something while being inside here.

“He has been taken somewhere else. We won’t let him into the building.”

He told his defence solicitor Mark Rogers he was going to take a cigarette break.

Mr Rogers told the court that it was “a long cigarette break”.

When it was revealed that his client was not able to stand up, Mr Rogers said he was not aware of any alcohol problems with Breach, and said his client could be “a bit gobby”.

In July 2019, Breach attacked PC Samuel Bettles in the accident and emergency department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

He also attacked PC Chelsie Maskell and PC James Roberts in police custody, and was jailed for 45 weeks.

In January last year he admitted attacking a woman police officer and breaching the order when he was seen in Surrey Street near the station.

On that occasion he was jailed for 20 weeks.

Brighton Argus

Robert Gregory, 24, who fantasised about killing former Prime Minister Theresa May, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to terror offences

Robert Gregory pleaded guilty to terror offences and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail after a judge condemned his “clear terrorist motivations” (Image: Dorset Police/Solent News)

An aspiring terrorist who fantasised about killing former Prime Minister Theresa May and blowing himself up in a mosque watched YouTube videos to find out how to make a bomb, a court heard.

Robert Gregory admitted watching two videos about how to construct explosives – one called ‘How to make a mini bomb’ and the other entitled ‘How to make a simple time bomb DIY’.

A court heard that when Gregory was asked about why he wanted to commit these violent attacks, he said: “I want to stand up for my people.”

The 24-year-old was caught when police discovered the online searches on his phone and seized his diary.

He pleaded guilty to terror offences and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail after a judge condemned his “clear terrorist motivations”.

Winchester Crown Court heard that Gregory, from Bournemouth, committed the offences just eight days after being released on licence from prison, where he had been serving time for stabbing a homeless person when he was just 16.

In diary entries read to the court, Gregory wrote that he wanted to “stab” the then Prime Minister Theresa May and “kill as many MPs on road to Downing Street”.

He also wrote that he would like to “kill a news reporter live on TV” and “blow myself up in a mosque”.

Prosecutor Julia Faure Walker also revealed that he had searched “How to justify killing a Muslim” and “Where can I buy a gun in Bournemouth?” online.

Another diary entry from Gregory said that “not enough” people were killed in the Christchurch Mosque shootings in 2019 in which 51 people were shot dead by a white supremacist.

The diary entry read: “‘Got news of terror attack in New Zealand finally we are taking a stand.

“Why do Muslims continue to condemn attacks on their own people not the ones on us?”

Other diary entries involved Gregory asking if an attack is still a terror attack if the attacker is not Muslim and Gregory’s plans to recruit “troops” that he would radicalise over a period of time.

Another entry detailed plans to get in touch with ISIS to learn how to make a suicide vest.

It read: “Try to get hold of ISIS terrorist group once out of prison although I am not a Muslim so I can learn to make suicide vest.”

Gregory went on to suggest he could use the suicide vest at a gay pride event.

Ms Faure Walker told the court that one of the videos he watched in April 2019 showed how to make a bomb using card and fireworks and the other showed how to make a time bomb using household items including an analogue clock and a mouse trap.

When interviewed by police about the diary entries, Gregory denied he wrote them and claimed he got along with Muslims, the court heard.

Defending, Paul Wakerley told the court that the videos Gregory watched were easily accessed on YouTube – with the one about the time bomb having 845,237 views and the other one having 388,000 views.

“There was no specialist skill required to find these videos, they were found on YouTube,” he said.

Mr Wakerley said that Gregory’s views were not underpinned by extremism but rather by more general feelings of violence.

He said: “Many of the diary entries that are referred to are extremely difficult to to listen to but they are diary entries of a man in prison over the course of two years and they are not part of the offence that he is convicted with for his plea.”

Gregory pleaded guilty to two charges of collecting terrorist information.

Sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC told him: “You had clear terrorist motivations. I assess that you present a very high risk of harm to the public.”

Gregory was also subjected to a terrorism notification order, which means he will be closely monitored for a period of 30 years.

Daily Mirror

The 22-year-old had denied all the offences

A Met Police officer who was convicted of being part of a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group has been jailed.

Benjamin Hannam, of Enfield, north London, was found guilty on 1 April of membership of the far-right extremist group National Action.

The 22-year-old was also convicted of fraud over lies on his police application and possessing documents useful to a terrorist.

He was jailed at the Old Bailey for four years and four months.

Hannam was the first serving British officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence.

Jurors found Hannam guilty of two counts of possessing documents useful to a terrorist and two counts of fraud.

The fraud involved over £66,000 he earned from the Met after joining in 2018, while the documents related to a knife-fighting guide and a manual written by Anders Behring Breivik – the man responsible for murdering 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Officers found a National Action business card and badges in Hannam’s bedroom

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said the offences were so serious that only a custodial term was appropriate.

He said the nature of anti-Semitic material held by Hannam was “horrible and deeply troubling”.

Timeline

Benjamin Hannam (second right) with other NA members

2016 – Joins NA and regularly attends meetings before the group was banned in December

2017 – Becomes a part of NA’s successor version called NS131 – which was also outlawed in September. His application to the Met is made in the summer, only days after he had attended an NS131 event

2018 – Enrols with Met Police and is passed out in front of Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick the following year

2020 – Arrested by police and subsequently charged

Judge Leonard told Hannam that he had “no doubt that your autism played a part in your offending”.

He said that, in committing fraud, the defendant had “abused the trust” of the police and public.

“You have harmed public trust in the police by your deceit,” he said.

Hannam remained in National Action from the time it was banned in December 2016 until September 2017.

The prosecution could not say that Hannam was preparing to make explosives or employ the knife-fighting techniques.

Hannam pleaded guilty to one count of possessing prohibited images of children – details of which were read out during the sentencing.

When his home was searched by detectives last year, his computer was found to contain a folder of “anime cartoons” of children and young people.

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said: “Although most of the files in this folder did not show any sexual acts, there was a series of 12 drawings of the same hand-drawn girl, who appeared to be eight or nine years old, engaged in acts of intercourse.”

Some of the images showed the child, in a state of distress, being raped by an adult male.

Mr Pawson-Pounds said that aggravating features in relation to the prohibited images included the age of the child depicted, the “shock and upset” discernible on her face in some images, and the fact she was wearing a school uniform.

BBC News

He claimed he “fainted a bit” when finally brought to justice for his sick crimes

John Merritt denied any wrongdoing but was found guilty of raping two boys when he was a teenager (Image: Liverpool Echo)



A married man who raped two boys as a teenager collapsed in the dock when jailed today.

John Merritt, 60, of Leathers Lane, Halewood, denied sexually abusing the children more than four decades ago.

But at the age of 14 or 15, when going by the name Walter Merritt, he raped his victims in Belle Vale and Netherley.

Merritt offered chocolate to Boy A, before inviting him into his house and raping him in a bathroom and a nearby field.

He also raped Boy B in the bathroom, pouncing after his mum invited the disadvantaged little boy in for tea and cake.

Boy B described how the abuse “destroyed” his life and even landed him in jail, after he stole to buy drugs to block out the horror.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the now dad-of-four carried out the attacks in the 1970s.

Stephen McNally, prosecuting, said they came to light when Boy A made a formal complaint to the police in 2016.

He previously told his sister about the abuse 30 years earlier and also mentioned it in a letter to police in 2014, but hadn’t taken it further at that stage.

When interviewed, Boy A told police he believed it happened to others and mentioned Boy B, who was traced by officers and interviewed in 2018.

Mr McNally said Boy B wasn’t told who provided his name, but both men “independently provided accounts which bore a number of similarities”.

Boy A said Merritt passed him in the street, offered him chocolate and invited him into his home, before raping him in the bathroom. He said Merritt also raped him at another location and in a field in Netherley.

Boy B said he went to Merritt’s home because Merritt’s mum was nice to him and fed him, when times were hard in his family and he was “largely left to fend for himself”.

Mr McNally said: “He said that Mrs Merritt offered him tea, biscuits and cake, which he didn’t get at home.”

The court heard Merritt followed him into the bathroom, locked the door and raped him on two occasions.

Merritt was convicted of three counts of a sexual offence which would now be classed as rape after a trial in March.

In a victim statement, Boy A – who attended the sentencing – said the abuse “destroyed his life”.

Mr McNally said: “He describes how he turned to drugs because he ‘needed not to remember’.”

Boy A didn’t wish to make a victim statement, but in evidence described how the abuse affected his “personal relationships” and he also turned to drugs.

The trial heard Merritt was convicted of wounding aged 15 in 1976, when he threw a bike cog at a girl’s face, leading to him being put in care. His family later moved to Speke.

Mr McNally said in 1980 he was convicted of possessing a weapon, “a stick with a chain” when “part of a Teddy Boy outfit”.

Merritt was most recently convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence in 2015.

The court heard he had character references from his wife, adult son and two adult daughters.

Louise McCloskey, defending, said her client “acknowledged” the jury’s verdict, but maintained his innocence.

She said Merritt was “only a child” at the time and expert evidence, including an intermediary’s report, detailed his “educational difficulties and learning difficulties, as well as significant physical difficulties”.

The judge, Recorder Ian Harris, accepted there had to be a significant reduction in the sentence, because of Merritt’s age at the time and his “characteristics”.

Ms McCloskey said Merritt was assessed as being “a low risk of re-offending” and hadn’t committed any crimes since.

She said: “The man before the court, 60 years of age, is a very different one from the teenager that committed these offences.”

Ms McCloskey said the Probation Service recommended a community-based sentence, so Merritt could undergo work to rehabilitate him.

She said his family thought “very highly of him” and he was a “great support” to his wife and 12-year-old son, who has health difficulties.

Ms McCloskey said: “The defendant was convicted of these offences – not his family. Since this case was first publicised, his family have been subject to the most despicable abuse and general intimidation.”

She added: “His family are guilty of nothing and should not be treated as such.

“They themselves perhaps your honour could be considered victims of the offences.”

Recorder Harris said Merritt, when 14 or 15, raped Boy A up to five times, when the child was nine or 10, and raped Boy B twice, when the victim was eight or nine.

He said Merritt “befriended” then groomed and isolated the boys, which involved “significant planning”.

Referring to Boy A, Recorder Harris said: “It’s quite clear there has been a lifelong impact upon him.”

The judge said Boy B, who screamed and shouted out during the rapes, was left with “lifelong psychological harm”.

He said Boy B told the court: “I needed not to remember what this man did to me as a kid, so I took drugs, which made me not think about what had been done to me by him.

“He ruined my whole life. All my relationships failed with me being insecure with what happened to me. I stole to fund my drug habit, which put me in jail… one big, vicious cycle.”

Recorder Harris said a pre-sentence report referred to Merritt’s “dysfunctional sexual interests” as a teen and how the rapes allowed him to “exert power and control over the victims”.

The judge noted his learning difficulties and said Merritt suffered from physical problems, including abnormally short arms, as a result of his mum receiving thalidomide treatment when pregnant, which Merritt said led to him and his family being “marginalised and verbally abused” when living in Netherley.

He said the report suggested “optimistically and unrealistically” that he could be spared jail, but if Merritt had been an adult at the time of the abuse, he would have faced more than 16 years in prison.

Recorder Harris jailed him for eight years, at which point Merritt collapsed, hitting a wooden rail as he fell.

When helped up by a dock officer, he claimed “I just fainted a bit”, then muttered: “It’s my back as well.”

He will serve at least six years in prison, before he is released on licence.

Merritt, who must sign the Sex Offenders Register for life, waved to his crying wife and adult son as he was sent down.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Julia Jennings said: “The actions of Merritt have clearly had a long lasting and devastating impact on his victims, who have been forced to relive their ordeals through his trial.

“I would like to pay tribute to their courage and strength in coming forward to speak up against Merritt and I hope that today’s sentencing will finally give them the closure they have waited so long for.

“Time is never a barrier to investigating a crime and bringing someone to justice and I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward. We have specially trained officers who can support you through the investigation process.”

Liverpool Echo

Former Cambridge student and neo-nazi sympathiser Oliver Bel has been found guilty of a terror offence, after being caught in possession of a bomb-making manual.

Former Cambridge University student Oliver Bel was today found guilty at Manchester Crown Court after being caught in possession of the notorious Anarchist Cookbook, which includes bomb-making designs.

The court heard how Bel was in contact with the now banned nazi-terror group National Action, and several high profile activists from the group attended his trial.

Bel’s prosecution came about following the publication of two HOPE not hate blogs in November 2019, which revealed his true political views, especially his extreme and vulgar hatred of Jews.

We revealed that Bel, writing under his own name on the Iron March nazi forum, said:

“Jews are parasites, well known for nepotism and financial corruption… Extermination is the best option for them.”

The second blog focused on Bel’s apparent desire to do something ‘spectacular’ – even stream himself on some kind of ‘killing spree’.

These blogs were referenced several times during the trial and even read out in court in one instance.

Furious with our blog, Bel contacted us after we published, claiming that our reporting could possibly stop the mathematics graduate getting a good job. Our response was that anything alerting future employers to his hatred was a good thing.

Our initial articles alerted the authorities, and Bel was soon raided by counter-terrorism officers. He was found to be in possession of (among other things) the Anarchist Cookbook, a favourite for DIY terrorists tinkering with the idea of making bombs.

Bel drew support from the same sort of sycophants that had also supported and rallied around the convicted Nazi terrorist and paedophile Jack Renshaw. Bel wrote to us twice and repeatedly tried to ring us, but his threats of legal action unsurprisingly came to nothing.

He seemed rather pleased and preoccupied with the idea that articles about him had been removed by Google, whom he described as a “notoriously left wing company”.

During the trial at Manchester Crown Court it was revealed that Bel had also been in touch with Alex Davies, the founder of the terror group National Action and who is, amazingly, still at liberty. Davies even turned up in the evidence given last month in the court case against Benjamin Hannam, the police officer convicted of membership of the terror group.

Bel, of Eccles Road, Salford, denied possessing a document containing information useful to terrorism, but the jury did not buy his defence.

He had also originally refused to wear a mask in court, claiming he was exempt due to what he described as his “Asperger’s”. After the judge threatened to revoke his bail, the hardline nazi complied.

HOPE not hate had initially traced Bel from the notorious ‘Iron March’ forum which was home to a number of far-right terrorists, including “Daddy Terror” Ben Raymond, who, like Davies, remains at liberty.

Hope not Hate

The 22-year-old had denied all the offences



A Met officer convicted of being part of a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group has been sacked by the force.

Benjamin Hannam was found guilty earlier this month of membership of the outlawed right-wing extremist organisation National Action (NA).

The 22-year-old was dismissed without notice from the force by Met Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball following a misconduct hearing on Wednesday.

He will appear at the Old Bailey on 30 April for sentencing on six offences.

The hearing at the Empress State Building in west London was told that Hannam was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to be a Met Police officer.

He had also pleaded guilty to being in possession of multiple prohibited images including “pseudo images” of young boys and girls – mocked-up images which looked like photographs.

Previously, the Met said it had reviewed Hannam’s time in the force and found no evidence his actions had been influenced by extremist ideology.

But his criminal trial and the misconduct case heard how Hannam lied on his application form and a subsequent vetting form in which he denied having links to an organisation “similar to the BNP”.

Hannam, who was not present at the misconduct hearing, joined the Met in 2018 and during his training was shown videos relating to NA.

He passed out in early 2019, but was identified by detectives on the neo-Nazi web forum Iron March following a database leak of users and later prosecuted.

Despite his six convictions, Hannam maintained his innocence insisting he has never been a NA member, a representative said on his behalf.

Officers found a National Action business card and badges in Hannam’s bedroom

Ms Ball, who chaired Hannam’s misconduct hearing, was told that when he was arrested in March 2020, a search of his home found him to be in possession of extremist material.

It included the manifesto of Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik – who killed 77 people in 2011.

The hearing was told other items included notes of a NA meeting Hannam attended, as well as books and paraphernalia relating to fascism.

Before dismissing Hannam from the Met, Ms Ball said: “He could be in no doubt what he was doing was unacceptable behaviour at every stage. It is therefore proven that this is gross misconduct.”

Ms Ball said Hannam was already subject to a final written warning and therefore could not be given a second one or have his first one extended.

She added: “His rank of PC cannot be reduced so the only option is dismissal.

“He had every opportunity to move away from this course of conduct. I do not find any mitigating factors as his behaviour has been so grave.

“PC Hannam has disgraced himself and the MPS. This is very serious misconduct which undermines policing as well as our reputation.”

Hannam will be sentenced at the Old Bailey for being a member of a banned organisation, two counts of possession of a document likely to be of use to a terrorist, two of fraud by false representation and one of being in possession of a prohibited image of a child.

BBC News

A NEO Nazi was found to have made racist threats and supported a terrorist organisation.

Tobias Powell called for a civil war and supported the murder of MP Joanne Cox.

The 32-year-old showed off his tattoo online which showed a Nazi emblem, Worthing Magistrates’ Court heard.

He admitted four counts of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to stir up racist hate.

In his social media posts Powell showed his support for banned terror group National Action.

He posted on Twitter calling for a “civil war” to stop the “ethnic suicide of white people”, Counter Terrorism Police said.

Police went to his property in February 2019, and found Powell’s support for white supremacist and racist ideas.

He set up his Apple identification as Adolf Hitler, it was revealed.

Officers said Powell emailed the then Prime Minister Theresa May to brand her as a “snake” in a message entitled “Brexit Stitch Up”.

He also wrote a letter to Bognor MP Nick Gibb about his fears over Sharia Law.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of Counter Terrorism Police South East, said: “The evidence gathered during the investigation showed that Powell had some very unacceptable views.

“Whilst this was not a terrorism case, the nature of the rhetoric Powell had shared on social media, meant that it was only right for specialist officers from Counter Terrorism Policing to conduct a thorough investigation.

“We know there is a fine line between hate speech and terrorism. Showing support for terrorist organisations is not acceptable and if you do that, you should expect to be investigated by us.

“Police are committed to tackling all forms of toxic ideology which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.

“Where there is evidence that a group has been involved in terrorism, the Home Office will act swiftly to halt the spread of their poisonous ideology by proscribing (banning) them.

“Groups that do not meet the threshold for proscription are not free to spread hatred, fund terrorist activity or incite violence as they please. The police have comprehensive powers to take action against individuals under the criminal law.”

Powell, of Wythering Close, Bognor, faces sentencing at Portsmouth Crown Court on May 14.

Brighton Argus

A BAREFOOT racist thug launched a random vicious attack on an Asian family, leaving a grandfather needing to have his teeth removed.

Liam Withington left a mum and her children, who he did not know. terrified after hammering on the door of their Breightmet home, shouting racist abuse.

And when frightened Arabiya Doodhwala called her father, who lived nearby, for help, he was attacked, punched and kicked and chased into the road by raging Withington.

When brave Ms Doodhwala left her home to try and help her father, 25-year-old Withington attacked her too.

And when relative Mohammed Marothi, an off-duty special constable, arrived at the scene, Withington tried to kick him and spat a mouthful of blood towards him.

“These were wholly unprovoked and abhorrent offences committed against a family who were entirely blameless,” Recorder Stan Reiz QC told Withington.

“Two young children had to see their grandfather and their mother beaten by you in a place which they were entitled to regard as a safe haven.”

Withington, of Poplar Avenue, Horwich, pleaded guilty to the racially aggravated offences of causing actual bodily harm, assault and using threatening behaviour.

Alistair Reid, defending, said Withington, who has previous convictions for violence, had been drinking.

“He has absolutely no explanation as to what was happening on that night,” said Mr Reid.

“He has no recollection of leaving his house, he cannot explain where his shoes were — he blacked out, effectively, following drinking. He has friends from all manner of ethnic and racial backgrounds and he is mortified that he should have acted in such a manner.”

Verity Quaite, prosecuting, told how Ms Doodhwala was with her children when she heard hammering on her door and a voice shouting: “Open the f***ing door.”

“That alone would have been shocking and frightening, but it escalated from there,” said Recorder Reiz.

After being phoned, Gulam Marothi went to his daughter’s home, but Withington ran towards him and punched him several times in the face, knocking him to the ground and kicking him.

Mr Marothi stumbled into the road, where vehicles had to slow to avoid hitting him and Withington continued the attack in the carriageway, punching him to the ground again. The assault left the victim needing teeth removed. When Ms Doodhwala ran to her father’s aid, she too was hit in the head and shoulder.

Throughout the incident Withington shouted threats and racial abuse.

Sentencing him to two years and two months in prison, Recorder Reiz said he accepted Withington had been drunk at the time.

“But that is not a mitigating factor for your shameful behaviour,” he added.

“While you may be remorseful, you chose to drink that night.”

As he was led from the dock to begin his prison sentence, Withington said: “I apologise to the victims, it must have been a terrifying ordeal for them .”

Bolton News