National Action trial: Members of neo-Nazi group jailed

A neo-Nazi couple who named their baby after Adolf Hitler and were convicted of being members of a banned terrorist group have been jailed.

Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas were members of National Action after it was banned under terrorism laws in December 2016

Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas were members of National Action after it was banned under terrorism laws in December 2016

Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, from Banbury, were part of National Action and had “a long history of violent racist beliefs”, a judge said.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the couple gave their child the middle name Adolf in “admiration” of Hitler.

Thomas was jailed for six years and six months, and Patatas for five years.

In total six people were sentenced for being part of what Judge Melbourne Inman QC described as a group with “horrific aims”.

Daniel Bogunovic, 27, from Leicester, was convicted of being a member of the banned group after standing trial alongside the couple.

Described by prosecutors as a “committed National Action leader, propagandist and strategist”, he was jailed for six years and four months.

Darren Fletcher, 28, from Wolverhampton, Nathan Pryke, 27, from March, Cambridgeshire, and Joel Wilmore, 24, from Stockport, had previously pleaded guilty to being in the group.

Fletcher, described by the judge as an “extreme member”, was sentenced to five years.

Pryke, the group’s “security enforcer” was given five years and five months and Wilmore, the “banker” and “cyber security” specialist, was imprisoned for five years and 10 months.

Darren Fletcher, 28, from Wolverhampton, Nathan Pryke, 27, from March, Cambridgeshire, and Joel Wilmore, 24, from Stockport, had previously pleaded guilty to being in the group. Fletcher, described by the judge as an "extreme member", was sentenced to five years. Pryke, the group's "security enforcer" was given five years and five months and Wilmore, the "banker" and "cyber security" specialist, was imprisoned for five years and 10 months.

Darren Fletcher, 28, from Wolverhampton, Nathan Pryke, 27, from March, Cambridgeshire, and Joel Wilmore, 24, from Stockport, had previously pleaded guilty to being in the group.
Fletcher, described by the judge as an “extreme member”, was sentenced to five years.
Pryke, the group’s “security enforcer” was given five years and five months and Wilmore, the “banker” and “cyber security” specialist, was imprisoned for five years and 10 months.

Joel Wilmore (left), Nathan Pryke (centre) and Darren Fletcher admitted being in National Action before the trial began

Joel Wilmore (left), Nathan Pryke (centre) and Darren Fletcher admitted being in National Action before the trial began

The judge said of National Action: “It’s aims and objectives are the overthrow of democracy in this country by serious violence and murder and the imposition of a Nazi-style state that would eradicate whole sections of society.”

In sentencing Patatas, he added: “You were equally as extreme as Thomas both in your views and actions.

“You acted together in all you thought, said and did, in the naming of your son and the disturbing photographs of your child, surrounded by symbols of Nazism and the Ku Klux Klan.”

Thomas, a former Amazon security guard, and Patatas, a wedding photographer originally from Portugal, held hands and wept as they were sentenced.

Last week, the court heard Fletcher had trained his toddler daughter to perform a Nazi salute and sent a message to Patatas saying “finally got her to do it”.

Jurors saw images of Thomas wearing Ku Klux Klan robes while cradling his baby, which he claimed were “just play” but he admitted being a racist.

Adam Thomas said he first discovered a "fascination" with Ku Klux Klan aged 11

Thomas was also found guilty of having bomb making instructions for which he was given a two-year-and-six-month sentence which he will serve concurrently.

A police search of the home he shared with Patatas uncovered machetes, knives and crossbows – one kept just a few feet from the baby’s crib.

Extremist-themed paraphernalia including pendants, flags and clothing emblazoned with symbols of the Nazi-era SS and National Action was also recovered.

Among the items were a swastika-shaped pastry cutter and swastika scatter cushions.

    • National Action
      The group was founded in 2013 by Ben Raymond, now 29, and Alex Davies, now 24It was intended to be an explicitly neo-Nazi party

      Raymond was a politics graduate from the University of Essex, and Davies was a Welsh former member of the British National Party

      National Action shunned democratic politics, regarding itself instead as a youth-based street movement

      It is believed it never had more than 100 members

      Its activities involved leafleting university campuses, aggressive publicity stunts and city-centre demonstrations

      In 2015, 25-year-old member Zack Davies used a hammer and machete to attack a Sikh dentist and was jailed for attempted murder

      After the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, an official National Action Twitter account posted: “Only 649 MPs to go #WhiteJihad”

      The group was banned later that year after the government concluded it was “concerned in terrorism”

      It became the first far-right group to be proscribed in this country since World War Two

Fletcher was close friends with Thomas and Patatas

Fletcher was close friends with Thomas and Patatas

Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said the defendants had taken part in National Action’s chat groups, posting comments that showed “virulent racism, particularly from Thomas, Patatas and Fletcher”.

He added: “Leaders Pryke, Wilmore and Bogunovic were more circumspect in their views but on occasion the true depth of their racial hatred leeched out.”

He said a deleted Skype log recovered from Thomas’s laptop stated that the “Midlands branch” of the neo-Nazi group would “continue the fight alone” after National Action disbanded after it was outlawed under anti-terror legislation in 2016.

BBC News

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