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Alice Cutter and Mark Jones were found guilty after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court

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.

Jones and Cutter were described as key members of National Action

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.

Garry Jack, Connor Scothern and Daniel Ward were also convicted or pleaded guilty to being National Action members

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.”

BBC News

A sex offender escaped from a care centre and fled to Spain, shortly after being spotted applying for his first passport, a judge heard.

Twenty-year-old Jordan Goodwin, also known as Jordan Hagan, stuffed pillows under the covers of his bed to give the impression he was sleeping, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Then he forced open a secure window and ran away from the Huntercombe Centre in Underhill Street, Langley, that caters for people with mental health problems, on March 13.

He left a letter of explanation at the home of his partner and flew out of the country, said Mr Andrew Tucker, prosecuting.

He added: “He got to Spain but was arrested pretty quickly.

“A number of weeks earlier he had been seen filling in a passport application form and when asked why came up with some innocuous reason.”

But Judge Amjad Nawaz asked: “What other purpose could there be for a passport?”

The defendant had been made the subject of an indefinite hospital order at Derby Crown Court in 2011 after committing a serious sexual offence at the age of 12, it was said.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued four days after he vanished and, on March 24, he was flown from Madrid to Birmingham.

He was then detained by police at the airport on landing.

Mr Simon Hanns, defending, said: “There was some element of planning but whether the authorities should have been aware of this is another matter.

“He feels that the hospital order is no longer appropriate and he should now be back in society.”

Goodwin admitted escaping from custody and was given six months detention in a Young Offenders Institution.

However, he had already spent more than half the term in custody waiting for the case to be resolved.

That meant he was eligible for immediate release and could be transferred to a secure unit in Northamptonshire to continue his treatment.

Judge Nawaz told him: “You feel you are being dealt with unfairly by still being held on the hospital order but that is a matter for professionals and a tribunal to decide.

“I am keeping the sentence short to allow you to return to this order because that is in the best interest of, not just you, but also the general public.”

Express & Star.

From 2017

Thank to making-of-a-nazi on Twitter

A GRANDFATHER who was wrongly branded a paedophile has been found guilty of the attempted murder of his tormentor.

Mark Pearson repeatedly stabbed Michael Inwood with a lock knife in a horrific attack outside the Aldi store in Spennymoor on the afternoon of September 9.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Mr Inwood was stabbed eight times, including in the heart and lung, but he managed to survive the attack.

Pearson, 46, had denied trying to kill Mr Inwood but, following a trial, a jury convicted him of attempted murder as well as the less charge of carrying an offensive weapon.

The jury was told that Mr Inwood had wrongly accused Pearson of being a child sex offender which had led to several verbal altercations between the pair.

During a police interview read out during the trial, Pearson told police Mr Inwood was a bully who was “telling everyone” that he was a paedophile.

The attack happened outside the supermarket after he was called a paedophile on a bus in the town.

During his evidence, Pearson told the court: “If I meant to murder him I would have stood over the c*** and stabbed him again. How am I meant to know where his f*****g heart is? I don’t know about bodies.”

But during the trial Ian Brook, prosecuting, said Pearson’s account was not credible as he had changed his story several times and admitted lying about stabbing Mr Inwood.

Mr Brook also made reference to a message sent from Pearson’s phone to a friend shortly after the incident in which he said Mr Inwood had been stabbed and was “laid on the f*****g floor, flat out”.

Pearson, of Eden Road, Spennymoor, had denied stabbing Mr Inwood or carrying a knife.

Pearson, who is a father and grandfather, was found guilty on both counts this afternoon.

He has been remanded into custody and will be sentenced on May 1.

Northern Echo

The leader of far-right political group Britain First has lost an appeal against a hate crime conviction.

Paul Golding, 38, was fined £1,000 by a judge in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, for possessing and distributing material intended to stir up hatred or arouse fear, according to Antrim Courthouse.

But the judge also removed the three-month prison sentence suspended for two years that Mr Golding received when he was initially convicted.

Britain First welcomed the news in a statement on its Telegram account, saying: “Paul is now free to be politically active in Ulster again without a suspended sentence hanging over his head”.

In a statement on its website, the group added that the result in court “was an operational victory for our movement in that we can now resume regular activities in this part of the United Kingdom.”

Mr Golding was originally arrested in October 2018 and convicted in June 2019.

A judge found that the material, which included a leaflet with the title ‘Stop the influx of migrants into Ballymena… now!’, met the criteria of being “abusive or insulting”.

Evening Standard

Samantha Turner, 36, has been jailed after she admitted trying to hand over the items

Samantha Turner, 36, has been jailed after she admitted trying to hand over the items when she went to hug prisoner Stephen Benson in the Salford prison

Samantha Turner, 36, has been jailed after she admitted trying to hand over the items when she went to hug prisoner Stephen Benson in the Salford prison

The girlfriend of a prisoner at Forest Bank tried to smuggle in £33,000 worth of cocaine as well as Spice and mobile phones during a prison visit, a court heard.

Samantha Turner, 36, has been jailed after she admitted trying to hand over the items when she went to hug prisoner Stephen Benson in the Salford prison.

They both stood up and hugged each other, but prison staff noticed that Benson put his hands under the coat Turner was wearing as if he was fumbling for something, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Benson then took a black package, a taped up box the size of a child’s shoe box, and stuffed it down his tracksuit trousers.

The package was seized and was found to contain 10.96g of high purity cocaine, which prosecutors said could be worth anything from £16,000 to £33,200 inside prison.

There was also 14.22g of Spice, with a potential value of £1,442 in prison.

Such drugs can be worth anywhere up to 10 times their normal value inside the custodial environment, the court was told.

It also contained two iPhones, four small Xanco mobile phones, nine sim cards as well as phone chargers.

The court heard Turner said she thought the package contained a phone battery, Rizla papers and some tobacco.

Judge Richard Mansell QC said he couldn’t accept this claim, ‘given the size of the package concerned and the common knowledge that drugs and phones are the two most highly prized commodities for prisoners’.

The judge added: “It simply wouldn’t have been worth the risk to smuggle tobacco and a battery into prison and the size and weight of the package you received was clearly inconsistent with your claim.

“In any event, you willingly accepted a package which you were unable to examine and agreed to smuggle it to a prisoner, therefore it is neither defence nor mitigation of the seriousness of your offending.”

Defending, Neil Usher said Turner has had a ‘very difficult life’, and that she was emotionally vulnerable at the time.

She had been in an abusive relationship, and believed ‘she had finally met someone who understood and cared about her’.

Mr Usher said her relationship with Benson was ‘abusive and coercive’, and she began to suffer from poor mental health.

They knew each other when they were teenagers and had recently got back in touch on social media, the court heard.

Mr Usher said Turner, who has since moved to Plymouth and is in a new relationship, was asked by Benson to take in the package during the visit, on December 14, 2017.

He said she had been ‘exploited’.

Judge Mansell sentenced Turner to 18 months in prison.

Sentencing, the judge said: “The message must go out loud and clear from these courts that anyone who smuggles illicit items into prison, especially controlled drugs and phones, should expect to receive an immediate custodial sentence regardless of personal mitigation.”

Turner, of Ocean Street, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to two counts of conveying list A articles into prison, and four counts of conveying list B articles into prison.

Manchester Evening News

From 2019

A 30-year-old man who posted “vile and hateful” posts against Jews, Muslims, black and gay people on a Russian social media site has walked free from court.

Luke Crompton, of Brindle Street, Tyldesley, Wigan, pleaded guilty to encouraging terrorism recklessly by posting hundreds of messages over nine months in 2018 that were “dripping with hate and contempt” on VK – a site similar to Facebook.

Crompton, who was said to have a low IQ and possible autism, was handed a two-year community order at Manchester Crown Court after the judge heard that he did not harbour racist or homophobic views, and had been “influenced and exploited” online by “unscrupulous individuals”.

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, told the court: “He posted extreme material – photographs, images and words – expressing hatred and contempt for, amongst others, homosexuals, Jews, Muslims and black people and those that consorted with them.”

He continued: “Many of the posts called for and encourage extreme activity against such people, such as the destruction of the Jewish and Islamic faiths, the torching of mosques and the murder of black people, Muslims and Jews.”

Mr Bassano said the VK profiles “prominently” displayed symbols of, and allegiance to, white supremacy.

The prosecutor added that Crompton appears to have harboured or sympathised with white supremacist views, with his Facebook “likes” featuring numerous causes of white supremacy, prolific viewing of material with racist and white supremacist title pages on his mobile phone and a draft text message containing pro-white nationalist and anti-Semitic sentiments.

But he told the court that all the experts who spoke to Crompton agreed that there was an “obsessional quality” to what he was doing and that his limitations, including social isolation and inability to form friendships and relationships, were likely to have played a part in his actions.

David Bentley QC, defending, described the posts as “hateful”, but said Crompton was “someone who is functioning effectively as a 10-year-old”.

He said the defendant was targeted on the Internet by people he believed had a genuine interest in him and was “adamant” he did not hold racist or homophobic views.

The barrister said: “He did not present as harbouring racist and offensive views and, in my opinion, would lack the intellect and sophistication to conceal them.”

He added: “He is plainly a vulnerable individual who was targeted online by unscrupulous individuals.”

Judge Patrick Field QC told Crompton: “What you did was to post vile and hateful material on a Russian social media site over a period of about nine months in 2018.

“The individual posts were deeply offensive, dripping with hate and contempt for Jews, Muslims and black people.

“They included praise for those who believed in white supremacy and they, in part, encouraged terrorism against Jews, Muslims and black people, encouraged people to kill them, to attack their religions and to burn their religious buildings.”

The judge added: “It is plain to me that you were influenced and exploited online by others who were considerably more sophisticated than you are.”

Sentencing Crompton to a two-year community order with a requirement of 30 rehabilitation days, Judge Field said: “I am advised, because of your vulnerability, you are liable to exploitation and radicalisation that might well occur in a prison environment and this would reduce the prospect of rehabilitation and increase the risk you pose to others.”

Crompton, who was wearing a dark-coloured coat and jeans, left the courtroom with his father and mother, who sobbed in the public gallery as the judge told her son he would not be jailed.

Lancashire Telegraph

A convicted football hooligan from Portsmouth launched an unprovoked attack on Guardian columnist and left-wing activist Owen Jones because of his sexuality and political views, a judge has ruled.

James Healy, 40, of Laburnum Grove in Portsmouth

James Healy, 40, of Laburnum Grove in Portsmouth

James Healy, 40, of Laburnum Grove, North End, admitted assaulting Mr Jones outside a pub in August last year, but claimed he ‘had the hump’ because the victim had bumped into him and spilled his drink.

But the Chelsea FC fan – who has a string of convictions for football-related violence – denied being motivated by Mr Jones’s sexuality or political campaigning, claiming he didn’t even know who he was.

Assaults deemed to be hate crimes can attract significantly longer sentences from the courts.

Following his arrest, a search of Healy’s home found a number of items connected to far-right ideology including a collection of pin badges linked to white supremacist groups.

Following a two-day hearing to determine Healy’s motive, Recorder Judge Anne Studd QC ruled on Friday that the unprovoked attack could only be motivated by Mr Jones’s media profile as a left-wing polemicist.

She said Healy had ‘plenty of opportunity to remonstrate’ with Mr Jones in the pub if he had unwittingly spilled his drink, and made no attempt to do so.

Instead he followed him outside and kicked him to the floor from behind.

She said: ‘Mr Jones can be seen (on CCTV) to leave the premises followed by Mr Healy and his co-defendants who can be seen looking across – he doesn’t approach him to remonstrate with him about the spilled beer.

This was a deliberate and targeted attack on Mr Jones personally.’

She continued: ‘I don’t find that this was motivated by a drink spillage – this was a brutal, surprise assault with no warning what so ever. It was clearly targeted.

‘I am satisfied so that I am sure that (Healy) holds particular beliefs that are normally associated with the far right wing.’

She added: ‘I therefore propose to sentence Mr Healy on the basis that this was a wholly unprovoked attack on Mr Jones by reason of his widely published left-wing beliefs by a man who has demonstrable right-wing sympathies.’

Mr Jones suffered cuts and swelling to his back and head, and bruises all down his body in the incident outside the Lexington pub on the Pentonville Road in Islington, north London, on August 17.

Among the incriminating items found at Healy’s home was a photograph of him as a teenager allegedly performing a Nazi salute. Healy also had a football hooligan flag adorned with SS symbols.

One of the items bore the name of the Combat 18 neo-Nazi group, whose stated aims include ‘execute all queers’, the court heard.

A birthday card featuring a St George’s flag, skull and crossbones and the words: ‘You have been nominated and dealt with by the Chelsea Headhunters’, in reference to the notorious hooligan firm, was also recovered.

Healy said the items dated back to his time in the violent Chelsea Youth Firm.

He claimed he had kept them because he is a hoarder, and that he did not know the memorabilia’s connection to the far-right and white supremacist movements.

Asked if he held homophobic or racist views, he replied: ‘No, it’s 2020.’

Healy said that, in the photograph in which he is allegedly performing a Nazi salute, his arm is held out to the right to show off his Chelsea Youth Firm tattoo.

‘I’ve looked up the Nazi salute online, I’ve never seen a picture where their arm is out to the side – it’s always out in front,’ he said.

In her ruling, Judge Studd accepted that it could not be proven Healy was performing a Nazi salute in the picture.

In his evidence, Mr Jones said: ‘I’m an unapologetic socialist, I’m an anti-racist, I’m an anti-fascist and I’ve consistently used my profile to advocate left-wing causes.’

Mr Jones has almost one million Twitter followers, 125,000 followers on Instagram and 350,000 followers on Facebook.

‘Almost every single day I am the subject of an unrelenting campaign (of abuse) by far-right sympathisers,’ he said.

He added: ‘In January last year, I was informed by an anti-fascist organisation I had become one of the main hate figures of online far-right extreme Facebook groups.’

The level of threat prompted the Guardian to hire security team for him.

Mr Jones denied spilling Healy’s drink, insisting: ‘That absolutely did not happen.

‘If I thought I had accidentally spilled someone’s drink, I would apologise profusely, I would say ‘I’m so sorry’ and I would insist – whether they liked it or not – on buying them another drink.’

The defendant pleaded guilty to affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing.

Healy’s co-defendants Charlie Ambrose, 30, from Brighton, and Liam Tracey, 34, from Camden, who have previously pleaded guilty to affray over the incident, are due to be sentence on February 11.

Ambrose and Tracey previously both denied a charge of ABH and the charge was left to lie on file, with prosecutors accepting their actions were not motivated by homophobia.

A date for Healy’s sentencing has yet to be set.

Portsmouth News