Michael Nugent: Man’s jail term increased for ‘extreme’ online material

A man who expressed hatred of ethnic minorities online and wrote “terrorism is the only way out” has had his jail term increased.

Michael Nugent, 38, used different identities to share extremist material in chat groups online.

He posted videos celebrating the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand in March 2019, which he described as a “game-changer”.

Three appeal judges on Friday increased his 42-month jail term to five years.

‘Obvious gravity’

It followed a challenge by the Attorney General, whose lawyers argued that Nugent’s original sentence, imposed by Judge Peter Lodder QC in June, should be stiffer.

In a written ruling, Lord Justice Edis said Judge Lodder had not given sufficient weight to an increase in the maximum penalty for Nugent’s offences.

He also said the original sentence had not reflected the “obvious gravity” of online radicalisation.

Nugent, of Parkland Grove, Ashford, Surrey, unwittingly sent copies of manuals for the creation of bombs and other firearms to undercover police officers, Kingston Crown Court previously heard.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications and 11 counts of possessing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism at a hearing in May.

‘Game changer’

In parts of Nugent’s diary, he said ethnic minorities should be “sent home” and “sterilised”.

“We are being genocided in our own homes,” read one extract.

“Terrorism is the only way out of it.”

One of his groups on the messaging service Telegram had about 200,000 members.

Nugent owned a copy of the manifesto written by Brenton Tarrant, who carried out the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand in 2020 in which 51 worshippers were killed.

Writing on Telegram, Nugent said: “I understand why Tarrant did what he did.

“What he did was a game changer.”

BBC News

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