Benjamin Hannam: Met PC who was neo-Nazi group member is jailed

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

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