‘Miss Hitler’ and three others guilty of National Action membership
A “Miss Hitler” contest entrant and her ex-partner have been convicted of being members of the banned far-right terrorist group National Action.
Alice Cutter, 23, and Mark Jones, 25, were found guilty of being members of the neo-Nazi organisation after a retrial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Garry Jack, 24, and 19-year-old Connor Scothern were also found guilty of being members of the group.
All four will be sentenced at a later date.
National Action, founded in 2013, was outlawed under anti-terror legislation three years later after it celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
During their trial Cutter, from Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, was described by prosecutors as a “central spoke” among the organisation’s hardcore members, while Jones, also from Sowerby Bridge, was a “leader and strategist”.
Jurors heard how Cutter had entered the Miss Hitler beauty pageant under the name Miss Buchenwald – a reference to the Second World War death camp.
They were also told how she had exchanged hundreds of messages, many racist and anti-Semitic, and was still meeting other members months after the ban.
In an exchange with another National Action member a day after MP Mrs Cox was gunned down, Cutter wrote: “Rot in hell, bitch.”
She claimed not to have considered herself a member, even before the ban, despite attending meetings with group leaders and posing for a Nazi-style salute on the steps of Leeds Town Hall in 2016.
Cutter also attended a demo in York in May 2016.
Jones, a former member of the British National Party’s youth wing, told jurors of his “feelings of admiration” for Hitler, while the court heard he had a special wedding edition of Mein Kampf.
He also accepted that he posed for a photograph while holding a National Action flag and giving a Nazi-style salute in Buchenwald’s execution chamber on a trip to Germany in 2016.
Cutter and Jones embraced in the dock before being taken down to the cells.
Also convicted of the same offence were two other men; Garry Jack, 24, of Shard End, Birmingham, and 19-year-old Connor Scothern, from Nottingham.
Self-confessed Nazi Jack was described as a foot soldier in the group, having joined six months before the ban.
Scothern, who was a one-time practising Muslim, and an Antifa – anti-fascist activist – before eventually joining National Action, did not give evidence at trial.
But in messages he sent following the ban in August 2017, he talked of setting up “a clear and openly fascist youth movement”.
‘Threat to the public’
A fifth man, Daniel Ward, 28 from Bartley Green, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to being a member of National Action last year and was jailed for three years.
Det Ch Supt Kenny Bell, of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit said: “Being convicted of membership of this extreme right terrorist group is the same as belonging to other terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda or Daesh.
“They share a real toxic extreme ideology which is a danger to the public, the same ideology that we have seen manifested in the tragic attack in New Zealand, the murder of Jo Cox MP and the attack at Finsbury Park mosque in 2017.
“This group was amassing weapons and recipes for bomb-making. They communicated through secret channels to recruit others to their cause. Left unchecked they presented a real threat to the public.”