Tag Archives: child pornography

A man who idolised right-wing mass killers and hated Muslims has failed in a bid to have his prison sentence for terrorism offences cut.

Sam Imrie, 24, who admired Christchurch mosque mass murderer Brenton Tarrant, is serving a seven and-a-half year jail term.

He was arrested in July 2019 after posting on social media he was going to attack Fife Islamic Centre, Glenrothes.

Imrie was convicted on two charges of breaching the Terrorism Act.

Following a trial in Edinburgh in October 2021, he was also convicted of wilful fire raising, drink-driving and possessing “extreme” indecent images of children.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Imrie had acquired an arsenal of weapons in his home in Glenrothes, Fife. They included a combat knife, nunchucks, an axe, a black-handled knife, a hammer, a rifle scope and a wooden-handled lock knife.

Police also recovered a “manifesto” entitled the “Great Replacement” by far-right terrorist Tarrant, who murdered 51 people in his March 2019 attacks in New Zealand.

They also recovered a manifesto written by Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in attacks in Norway in 2011.

Nazi ideology

Police also discovered computer equipment containing thousands of images glorifying fa- right terrorism attacks and Nazi ideology.

On Friday, defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson told appeal judges Lord Matthews and Lord Malcolm their colleague Lord Mulholland had not followed correct sentencing procedures when jailing Imrie.

Mr Paterson said if he had done so, Imrie would have received a lesser sentence.

But the appeal judges concluded that Lord Mulholland, who sentenced him in December last year, had acted correctly.

Lord Matthews said: “We are unable to detect any error in his approach. It cannot be said that the sentence imposed by the judge was excessive.”

‘Childhood trauma’

Mr Paterson said his client had experienced “trauma” in his life and that Lord Mulholland should have taken this into account.

He told the Court of Criminal Appeal: “During his childhood, Mr Imrie experienced a fairly traumatic experience when he was assaulted and lost his teeth and stopped attending school.

“Thereafter, he continued to withdraw from life and became more isolated from his family and his friends. He would stay in his bedroom and spend his days looking at his computer and drinking alcohol.

“His background is one which has arisen from childhood trauma.”

BBC News

Luke Hunter, of High Callerton, admitted making indecent images of children but claims he has no sexual interest in youngsters

A Hitler-obsessed neo-Nazi had child abuse images alongside right wing terrorist material.

Luke Hunter was jailed previously for terrorism offences after being found with material including Nazi memorabilia, white supremacist texts and recordings of him expressing his deeply disturbing views.

Now it has been revealed police also found sickening indecent images of children during the search. He admitted possessing them although he claims he has no sexual interest in children and was trying to entice, tease or goad those who do.

Newcastle Crown Court heard a warrant was executed at his home at High Callerton, Newcastle, in October 2019, in respect of the terrorism offences. On the Kik platform on his phone, indecent images had been exchanged in a group chat involving 35 people. His computer tower with two hard drives was also found to contain the child abuse images.

In total, his devices contained 22 of the most serious, category A images, 11 category B and 39 category C. Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said: “One girl had material around her neck as she was being sexually abused in distress.”

Hunter pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children. He was due to be sentenced but the case was adjourned for an assessment to take place of the future risk he poses to children.

Joe Culley, defending, told the court: “He says he was teasing or goading other people in the group. He says he doesn’t have a sexual interest in children.”

Hunter, who has a form of autism spectrum disorder, is currently serving a prison sentence for the terrorism offences. He has a provisional release date of December next year but has a parole hearing in June.

Hunter, 24, had previously admitted seven charges of encouraging terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications and was sentenced in December 2020 to four years and two months prison, with an extended licence of an extra year, at Leeds Crown Court.

We reported at the time how he was arrested as part of an investigation into Right Wing Terrorism, led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East. Searches of Hunter’s home address revealed an obsession with Hitler and neo-Nazism and resulted in the seizure of a large number of white supremacist texts, military training manuals and guides on surveillance, guerrilla warfare, weapons and explosives.

Officers also recovered Nazi memorabilia and a machete from his bedroom. Hunter’s media devices were found to contain thousands of documents, videos and audio files of an extreme right wing nature, in addition to the manifestos of previous mass murderers and recordings of Hunter himself, expressing his deeply disturbing views.

Officers said he was “persistent and prolific” in his efforts to promote right wing terrorism, utilising a variety of platforms and accounts to spread his hateful ideology and encourage others to do the same. He also created content and established his own website through which to disseminate his vile white supremacist, anti-Semitic and homophobic views.

Through this site he avidly promoted violent right wing propaganda, terrorist handbooks and instructional material. Hunter had a significant online reach, particularly among young people, with his Telegram channel alone having more than 1,200 subscribers.

Chronical Live

Thomas Leech was jailed after pleading guilty to a number of offences

A neo-Nazi who encouraged far-right terrorism against Jews and Muslims has been sentenced to two years in a young offenders institution.

Thomas Leech, 19, posted a “call to arms” and glorified far-right killers online.

Manchester Crown Court heard that after being arrested by police, he told officers: “I am a Nazi.”

Leech, of Preston, pleaded guilty to encouraging acts of terrorism and stirring up religious or racial hatred.

The court was told Leech believed conspiracy theories that Jewish people were planning the “Great Replacement” of the white race through extinction and the “Islamicisation” of Europe.

Joe Allman, prosecuting, said he first came to police attention when he claimed to be planning a shooting at his school in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, in January 2017.

He told police it was a “prank” and received a caution and some intervention.

Leech was referred to Prevent, the Government’s deradicalisation programme, but he “dropped off the radar” when he moved to Gillingham, Kent, in June 2017.

After moving to Preston in 2020, posts by him on an online platform were found by the Community Security Trust, a charity involved in security for Jewish communities.

Mr Allman said: “The cumulative effect of the posts is a call to arms by Mr Leech, inciting others who shared his world view to commit mass murder.”

‘Deeply disturbing’

Leech posted that the Holocaust was a hoax and Jews controlled the world, as well as posting Third Reich imagery and anti-Muslim content, the court heard.

Police found he had posted about Anders Breivik, who murdered 69 youngsters in Norway, and Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

The men along with Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who murdered nine African-Americans at a church in Charleston in the US in 2015, were talked of in terms of martyrs to the white race, the court heard.

The court heard there was no evidence Leech’s posts had inspired anyone to commit an offence.

Rachel White, mitigating, said some offences were committed when Leech was aged only 17 or 18 and that he suffered from autism, agoraphobia and bullying, which kept him out of school.

She said he rarely left his home, spending his life online and was “effectively became a keyboard warrior”.

But Judge Alan Conrad QC branded Leech’s action as “deeply disturbing”.

Leech, of Derby Road, admitted three counts of encouraging acts of terrorism and two counts of stirring up religious or racial hatred, between March and November 2020.

He also admitted possessing indecent images of children.

BBC News

A hate speaker who was jailed over a series of public protests against sex offenders has been locked up after distributing a video of a child having intercourse with an animal over WhatsApp.

William Charlton, known as Billy, was given a prison sentence in 2019 over speeches he gave at a series of planned demonstrations in Sunderland.

Charlton was jailed for 21 months in September 2019 and was told by the judge he was “an intelligent, articulate, skilled public speaker but also a manipulator and bully” who had caused a “toxic atmosphere” in the city.

By that time, police had already seized his phone after a video had been found, that he had sent to another man who had been arrested for an unrelated matter, which featured a child engaged in a sex act with an animal.

Charlton was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court last summer of sending the video clip to over 40 of his contacts over WhatsApp.

The 57-year-old had insisted he did not view the 18 second video, which featured a boy aged between 10-14 with the animal, before he forwarded it on and had no reason to suspect its contents were illegal.

Prosecutor Ian West told the court today: “There is no suggestion he is a paedophile or gained any sexual gratification from watching or distributing theimage, nor did he intend any of the recipients to receive sexual gratification from it.

“He just has, it seems, a sick sense of humour.”

Charlton, of Sidmouth Road, Gateshead, was convicted of distributing a Category A image of a child.

He had also admitted possessing extreme pornography in relation to an image involving an adult female engaging in sexual activity with an animal.

And he had also pleaded guilty to another offence of extreme pornography, again involving an adult.

Judge Sarah Mallett today jailed Charlton for a total of three years and said he must sign the sex offenders register for life.

The judge told him: “It is accepted by the prosecution you did not have any sexual motivation in distributing the image and that is one of the factors I have to consider.”

But the judge said any distribution of such image risks “potential exposure to a large number of people” and the fact the video was already in the public domain was no consolation to the child featured in it.

Judge Mallett said Charlton has been assessed as “unlikely to engage mindfully in offence focused work” with the probation service and has “not proved to be susceptible to changing views”.

The judge said Charlton has a “very limited prospect of rehabilitation” in the community.

During his trial last summer, Charlton told jurors he would regularly receive and send “daft jokes” over the messaging app on his phone and did not alwayswatch them.

He added: “It was just daft joke messages, things like that, you know what I mean.

“I would just forward them on, not even thinking about it most of the time.”

Charlton insisted he had not watched the video featuring the animal and child, that he had received from someone else.

He added: “It wasn’t something I would expect from him.

“He knows if he sent me images of children I would kick off with him, as I would anyone else.”

Charlton told jurors he is a “proud father and grandfather” and would receive and send messages thinking they were “daft jokes”.

He added: “Now, being branded a paedo over a stupid video I’ve never even seen, I would tell all my friends and family, get off it all.

“If you send something and you are not aware of it, you could be sitting here.”

His barrister Chrisopher Rose told the court today Charlton had a “crass, indifferent” attitude to the image and there was no sexual motivation behindthe offences.

Mr Rose said Charlton is not heavily convicted and added: “Since his release he has been of good character. He has not committed any further offences.”

Mr Rose said Charlton now leads and “isolated life” after the “public shaming”.

Sunderland Echo

A Met Police officer has been convicted of being a member of a banned neo-Nazi terrorist organisation.

Benjamin Hannam, of Enfield, north London, was found guilty of membership of the banned right-wing extremist group National Action (NA).

He was also convicted of lying on his Met Police application and having terror documents detailing knife combat and making explosive devices.

Hannam is the first British officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence.

He was released on conditional bail ahead of sentencing on 23 April.

At the Old Bailey, Judge Anthony Leonard QC lifted a ban on reporting the case after the 22-year-old admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial.

The PC had been working as a probationary officer for the Met for nearly two years before he was found on a leaked database of users of extreme right-wing forum Iron March.

He had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of neo-Nazi group NA in March 2016.

Jurors were shown a video of the PC spraying the group’s symbol on a derelict building in 2017

Following his arrest in March last year, officers discovered a NA business card and badges, as well as writings about his involvement with the group.

Jurors were told that on the day the group was banned in December 2016, Hannam had transferred the knife-fighting manual from his computer to folder named “NA” on a memory stick along with other extremist texts.

Detectives also found he was in possession of multiple prohibited images including “pseudo images” of young boys and girls.

Hannam was filmed taking part in a boxing session for members of the banned group

Jurors convicted him of remaining in NA for several months after it was banned in December 2016, as well as two counts of fraud for lying about his far-right past in a Met application form.

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said the fraud was “intimately connected” to Hannam’s membership of the outlawed group.

Hannam had denied all the offences, telling the court he had never been a member of NA despite regularly attending group meetings.

He claimed that he was interested by the “look and aesthetic of fascism”, but that he was not a racist and had actually challenged group members when they expressed such views.

The officer said he had been “desperate to impress” an older NA organiser and his association with the group ended before he began working for the Met.

Officers found a National Action business card and badges in Hannam’s bedroom

The court heard that Hannam was part of a successor version of the extremist group called NS131 – which was itself outlawed in September 2017 – and that he appeared in its online videos spray-painting neo-Nazi logos.

He had joined the Met in 2018 and during his training was actually shown videos relating to NA.

He passed out early in 2019 but was identified on the neo-Nazi web forum by detectives.

It can now be reported that, soon after he joined the Met, Hannam was found to have committed gross misconduct after he was found using a young relative’s travel card to use public transport for free.

Scotland Yard said it had reviewed Hannam’s time in the Met and found no evidence his actions had been influenced by any extremist ideology.

He is currently suspended from duty.

The 22-year-old had denied all the offences

After the jury returned their verdict, the judge said Hannam had been “convicted of serious offences” and was being bailed as a “courtesy”.

Jenny Hopkins, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Hannam’s “lies have caught up with him and he’s been exposed as an individual with deeply racist beliefs”.

“Benjamin Hannam would not have got a job as a probationary police constable if he’d told the truth about his membership of a banned, far-right group,” she added.

Cdr Richard Smith, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said “the public expect police officers to carry out their duties with the very highest levels of honesty and integrity.

“Sadly, PC Hannam showed none of these qualities.”

BBC News

A Metropolitan Police officer is facing jail after acting as a recruiter for a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group.

PC Benjamin Hannam acted as a recruiter for National Action and offshoot group NS131

PC Benjamin Hannam, from Edmonton in north London, is the first police officer to be convicted of involvement in far-right terrorism.

The 22-year-old was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of being a member of National Action, a proscribed terrorist organisation, along with two counts of possessing documents useful for terrorism and for fraud.

After the police constable’s arrest in March last year, detectives found an image on his iPhone showing him in police uniform, with a Hitler-style moustache superimposed on his face and a Nazi badge on his lapel.

They also found he had downloaded a knife-fighting manual and a copy of the “manifesto” of the right-wing extremist Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people, mostly children, in bomb and gun attacks in Norway in 2011.

Prosecutors said the Breivik document included bomb-making instructions and “exhaustive justifications for his mass-casualty attacks”.

PC Hannam, who worked with the emergency response team in Haringey, north London, joined the Met in March 2018.
Sky News

Michael Cowan was found with hundreds of indecent images of boys

Michael Cowan was found with hundreds of indecent images of boys

A SEX offender who stashed hundreds of indecent images of young boys on his mobile phone and laptop has been jailed.

Michael Cowen was arrested back in 2018 after officers from Northumbria Police’s specialist Paedophile Online Investigation Team (Polit) received information he had been illegally downloading indecent images on his devices.

A mobile phone, laptop and three USB’s belonging to the 53-year-old were seized and after examination by the digital forensics team, a haul of more than 500 images were uncovered and 11 prohibited pornographic videos.

Of the 556 images discovered – 170 were identified as Category A – the most serious in the classification system.

Cowen was later charged and appeared before the courts where he pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent image of a child and one count of possessing a prohibited image of a child. He also admitted breaching a community order.

He appeared at Newcastle Crown on Tuesday where was jailed for 16 months.

Speaking after the sentencing Detective Constable Ian Beecroft, from Polit said: “Cowen is a repeat offender who admitted during his police interview that he was sexually attracted to children. He also knew his offending was wrong and tried to keep it a secret from the people he knew, until he was caught out.

“I am pleased the courts have recognised the risk he poses and that he’s behind bars where he is unable to continue offending.

“Thanks to a thorough investigation by our team and our digital media investigators, we were able to bring a solid case before the courts which left Cowen no choice but to admit his guilt and I’m pleased with the sentence passed down.

“I would always encourage anyone with information about this type of offending, or anyone who thinks they have been a victim to come forward and talk to us.”

Michael Cowen, of Leazes Court Newcastle, was sentenced to a total of 16 months imprisonment at Newcastle Crown Court. He was issued with a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.

Northern Echo

Michael Cowen accumulated his disgusting collection over a three-year period on an electronic device at his home

Michael Cowen leaves North Tyneside Magistrates' Court in North Shields (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Michael Cowen leaves North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in North Shields (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

A paedophile is facing jail after he was caught with a sick stash of more than 500 twisted pictures of children.

Michael Cowen gathered the disgusting collection over a three-year period between 2015 and 2018 from his home in Fenham, Newcastle.

However, the 53-year-old’s secret obsession was eventually unearthed after police discovered 556 vile images of youngsters on one of his electronic devices.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that 170 of the disturbing pictures were category A – the most serious kind, which involve penetrative sexual activity.

Now, Cowen, of Leazes Court, Barrack Road, in Fenham, has been told he is facing a minimum of 26 weeks in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Ben Woodward, prosecuting, said Cowen gathered his collection between October 2015 and September 2018.

“I would ask that this matter be committed to the crown court for sentence,” Mr Woodward continued.

“As you have heard, the defendant was in possession of 170 category A images, 113 category B and 273 category C. I think it’s likely to exceed this court’s sentencing powers.

“Category A images runs a minimum of 26 weeks in custody up to three years.”

Michael Gibson, defending, added: “I would not disagree with that.”

Magistrates deemed that their sentencing powers were insufficient and committed Cowen to Newcastle Crown Court.

Chairman of the bench, Keith McIntosh, said: “You have pleaded guilty and, obviously, that will be taken into consideration at sentence.

“We’re going to send the matter to the crown court for sentence.

“You will appear there on March 2 at 10am and you will be on unconditional bail until then.”

The Chronicle

A high-achieving grammar school pupil who secretly promoted neo-Nazi terrorism online has been sentenced.

Harry Vaughan, 18, from south-west London, had pleaded guilty to 14 terror offences and two of possessing indecent images of children.

Passing sentence at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Sweeney said: “You are a dangerous offender.”

He sentenced Vaughan to two years detention in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years.

The 18-year-old was also ordered to attend a rehabilitation programme.

The judge said Vaughan had lived at home with his family and been an “A* student”, adding none of them knew that from the age of 14 he had been involved with groups on the internet.

Vaughan’s father, who was in court, is a clerk in the House of Lords and his mother is a teacher. Vaughan had been a pupil at Tiffin Grammar School in Kingston upon Thames.

The judge told the teenager neo-Nazi material found during police searches showed “the depth of your extreme right-wing mindset”.

He added that expert evidence stated Vaughan’s ideology was a “hybrid” of neo-Nazism and left-hand path Satanism.

Vaughan was prolific online and hid behind a series of aliases.

He uploaded self-made propaganda images to a neo-Nazi website promoting the now-banned terrorist organisation Sonnenkrieg Division.

He also possessed – and posted online – a series of weapons and explosives manuals.

The 18-year-old previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts of possessing documents useful to a terrorist, one count of encouraging terrorism, and one of disseminating terrorist publications.

He also admitted two counts of possessing indecent images, relating to videos showing young boys being raped.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: “What this case tells us is that anybody can be affected, anybody can be radicalised.”

He said Vaughan is a “very intelligent young man” but he “now has convictions for terrorist offences which will stay with him for life and I think that is a saddening case and also a salutary example of how this can affect young people”.

BBC News

Harry Vaughan, 18, arrested by police during a probe into website Fascist Forge
Detectives found memory stick in his bedroom with details of 128 other accounts
Court documents say there was content linked to an American neo-Fascist book
Some was found on USB with Tiffin School in London logo, where Vaughan went

A former pupil at an elite grammar school has admitted downloading and distributing bomb-making manuals.

Harry Vaughan, 18, was arrested by police during a probe into a website named Fascist Forge, which calls itself a ‘home for the 21st century fascist’.

Detectives found a memory stick in his bedroom with details of 128 other internet accounts, including one for System Resistance Network, which supports white supremacy and attacks immigration and gay rights.

Court documents revealed there was also content linked to an American neo-Fascist book called Siege and neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and Satanic material.

Some of it was found on a USB stick carrying the logo of Tiffin School, the grammar Vaughan had attended in Kingston, south-west London.

When he was arrested last June he was studying for A-levels in maths and computer science and was said to be among Tiffin’s best performing pupils.

The school, which counts former England cricket captain Alec Stewart among former pupils, accepts just 140 students a year from 1,300 applicants. It boasts that 85 per cent of its A-level grades are between A* and B.

Police discovered that in January last year, when Vaughan was just 16, he had published three images and a message on Fascist Forge that were intended to encourage terrorism.

He also published two links on the website to a publication called Wrong Hand: popular weapons manuals and their historic challenges to a democratic society.

Police discovered a wealth of terrorist material on his computers, including a manual with chapters on murder, rape, kidnap, arson and bombing.

He also had documents showing how to make ‘new and improved’ C-4 and Semtex plastic explosives and how to construct a homemade detonator.

Further searches of his electronic devices revealed he had downloaded two indecent photographs of children between April 13 and June 14, 2019.

Vaughan, who lives in Twickenham with his parents and two younger sisters, was charged on March 11 this year.

He appeared at Westminster Youth Court yesterday to plead guilty to 12 counts of possessing documents useful for terrorism, two counts of encouraging terrorism and two counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Addressing the teenager’s parents at the back of the court, chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: ‘It is a nightmare situation for parents but it is important that you are here to support him.’ Vaughan will appear at the Old Bailey for sentencing on October 2.

His bail conditions state he is not permitted to delete the internet history on any digital device or to create a social media profile under any name other than his own.

He has to share his browsing history and passwords with police and may not share extreme Right-wing ideology.

And he is not allowed to possess or use any digital device capable of accessing the internet save for a nominated digital device and his family’s smart TV.

Daily Mail