Student jailed after filming himself spraying right-wing graffiti around Cardiff
A Cardiff student who filmed himself putting up posters to mark the birthday of Adolf Hitler has been jailed.
Elliott Richards-Good, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to a number of offences that included spray-painting swastikas at a number of sites and buildings around Cardiff.
South Wales Police said within two weeks of Richards-Good arriving in Cardiff to study in 2018, racist and homophobic literature and graffiti began appearing around the city.
Following an initial investigation officers tracked down the 20-year-old after piecing together CCTV which showed a cyclist with a GoPro camera strapped to his chest, riding from Cathays to Cardiff Bay and back on the night a Nazi symbol appeared on the Senedd building.
He was arrested for that offence and officers were able to link him to further incidents after a search of his home address in Cheltenham.
As well as locating a GoPro which contained incriminating footage, officers recovered spray paints, gloves and clothing, as well as a number of System Resistance Network (SRN) posters.
System Resistance Network is an emerging far-right movement, which has links to proscribed groups, National Action and NS131, but is not yet subject to a UK Government banning order.
Extreme right-wing books, laptops and a “goldmine” of a computer tower containing encrypted applications, and handwritten notes with email addresses and passwords linked to the SRN, were also found in his home.
Despite answering “no comment” in interview and refusing to hand over passwords to phones and other devices, officers were able to build a case against Richards-Good, which included evidence that he targeted the route of Stand Up to Racism march in Grangetown in March 2018, and evidence he was actively recruiting members to the SRN.
Richards-Good later pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to eleven charges, including stirring up racial hatred, racially aggravated criminal damage, possession of material likely to stir up racial hatred, and possession of material likely to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment and was also made the subject of a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order.
Detective Superintendent Noel Harris of Wales Extremism Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “Tackling extremism in all its forms is a priority for WECTU and South Wales Police and this case demonstrates that we are committed to working together to both prevent and detect it.
“Cardiff is a welcoming and vibrant multicultural city and Richards-Goods’ abhorrent views and actions rightly caused great concern amongst the local community. Our officers were determined to apprehend the person responsible as quickly as possible, both in order to prevent further offending and to send out a message to the community – and the minority who share Richards-Good’s racist ideologies – that it will not be tolerated.”