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Michal Szewczuk produced propaganda for a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division


A teenage neo-Nazi who suggested Prince Harry should be shot for marrying a woman of mixed race has pleaded guilty to terror offences at the Old Bailey.

Michal Szewczuk, 19, of Leeds, admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism and five of possessing documents useful to a terrorist.

The charges relate to a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division.

Co-defendant Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, from west London, pleaded guilty in December to encouraging terrorism.

Both of them were granted conditional bail and are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 17 June.

The pair produced Sonnenkrieg propaganda that, among other things, said Prince Harry was a “race traitor” who should be shot, and lionised the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

They publicised the propaganda on the social media site Gab, including on a page for the Sonnenkrieg group itself.

Szewczuk, hiding behind a pseudonym, also used a separate account to posts links to self-authored diatribes that called for the “systematic slaughtering” of women and the rape of babies.

Detectives found Szewczuk in possession of bomb-making instructions, documents describing how to conduct Islamist terror attacks and a “white resistance” manual.

The Sonnenkrieg group, which was exposed last year by a BBC investigation, was created as a British version of the American neo-Nazi organisation Atomwaffen Division, which has been linked to five murders.

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowki admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism in December

Szewczuk and Dunn-Koczorowski were arrested the morning after a BBC investigation exposed the group’s activities.

Another man was also arrested and has since been released under investigation.

The group’s ideology, which is influenced by figures such as the murderous cult leader Charles Manson, is a strain of neo-Nazism that openly encourages criminality and acts of terrorism.

Online propaganda and private chat logs show members engaging in extreme misogyny, as well as exalting Jihadist terrorism and a violent strand of Satanism.

Some private messages seen by the BBC suggest Sonnenkrieg members encouraged young women to engage in acts of self-harm.

The Sonnenkrieg Division grew out of a split in the now largely defunct System Resistance Network, which was created after the neo-Nazi group National Action was banned under anti-terror laws in 2016.

Sonnenkrieg and System Resistance Network both contained one-time members of National Action, including Dunn-Koczorowski.

BBC News

A FAR-right supporter who set fire to Newport’s Masonic Lodge and Bassaleg secondary school, and daubed swastikas and racist slogans on buildings across the city, has been jailed for a total of six years.

Austin Ross, 23, carried out the two arson attacks and his spree of hate-fuelled criminal damage during May this year.

The Riverfront Theatre, Maindee primary school, Gwent Probation Service’s Lower Dock Street offices, and the Bethel Community Church were among his other targets.

Ross, of Romney Close, St Julians, Newport, carried out the attacks, said Judge Jeremy Jenkins, “out of sheer hatred and malice”, based on a “perverted view of race and religion”.

Ross pleaded guilty last month to 15 charges, including two of arson.

He began by sticking a racially offensive poster,, and spray painting a swastika, on a window at the Riverfront Theatre in Newport, between May 2 and May 5.

The poster, along with several others Ross subsequently stuck to buildings in Newport, referenced the neo-Nazi System Resistance Network (SRN).

On May 4, the Bethel Community Church was targeted with posters and swastikas, as was Maindee primary school, where parents removed posters and handed them in to the school.

The school was targeted again on May 8 and May 25, but Ross had in the interim stuck posters and daubed swastikas on a wall at the Newport Centre.

Between May 25-30 he targeted the Gwent Probation Service building on Lower Dock Street with a spray painted far right message.

And on May 28, racist graffiti and a swastika were daubed on a wall at the University of South Wales campus on Usk Way.

Ross’ criminal activities then took an even more sinister turn.

On the night of May 28 he posted a flammable liquid through the letterbox at the Masonic Lodge in Lower Dock Street and set fire to it – an act caught on CCTV – causing £38,000 of damage.

And on the same night he caused around £20,000 of damage to a classroom at Bassaleg School after setting fire to a window blind.

Both buildings were also daubed with racist graffiti.

Police issued CCTV images of a man clad in black clothing, to try to track down the perpetrator.

Acting on a tip-off, they arrested Ross at an address in Grosvenor Road, Bassaleg, on June 5.

The Bassaleg and the Romney Close addresses were searched, and items found included cardboard swastika stencils and neo-Nazi posters.

Defence counsel Harry Baker said several references submitted on behalf of Ross showed “a different side” to him.

But sentencing him, Judge Jenkins was scathing of Ross’ crimes.

“You daubed swastikas and other highly offensive literature on schools, a church, a theatre, a footbridge and other buildings,” he said.

“You deliberately set fire to the Masonic Lodge and Bassaleg secondary school.

“Your actions were not born of some mental disorder, but out of hatred and malice based upon your perverted view of race and religion, and others dissimilar to yourself.

“That, in a civilised society is as abhorrent as it is impossible to comprehend.”

Ross was sentenced to three years in prison on each arson charge, to run consecutively.

He was also sentenced to six months on each of 13 charges of racially aggravated criminal damage. These will run concurrently to the arson sentences.

Speaking after the senetencing hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Nicholas Wilkie, of Gwent Police, said: “The offences committed by Ross in Newport in May of this year were very serious, and understandably resulted in concern and distress throughout our community.

“There is no place for hate crime in Gwent, and we will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to this type of offending.

“We are committed to ensuring our neighbourhoods are welcoming and safe places for everyone, and any crime motivated by racial, sexual, or any other prejudice, will be investigated thoroughly and any offender dealt with robustly.

“We would encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed an incident or crime that they perceive to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, to report to us directly on 101 or 999, online at http://www.report-it.org or through Victim Support on 0300 30 31 982.”

Cerys Beresford-Evans of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Ross spread his racist messages around Newport by causing damage and destruction to buildings.

“Hate crime has no place in a civilised society and has a devastating impact on not only individuals, but on communities.

“The CPS will continue to work with our partners in the criminal justice system to address all forms of hate crime.”

South Wales Argus

A MAN who spray-painted swastikas around the city and set fire to buildings including a school and a church over the course of a month has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Austin Ross, 23, of Romney Close in Newport, pleaded guilty to 15 counts in total at a brief hearing in Cardiff Crown Court today.

The charges relate to a series of swastikas and racially aggravated graffiti and two arson attacks in Newport between May 2 and May 31 this year.

Two swastikas appeared on a wall and post at the University of South Wales building in Newport city centre during the late May bank holiday weekend.

Alongside one of the swastikas was a message apparently written in support of far right activist Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who co-founded the English Defence League.

Today, Ross admitted nine counts of causing racially aggravated damage to property.

He owned up to damaging the windows of the Riverfront Theatre in the city centre on May 3, the front door of the Bethel Baptist Church in Bassaleg and a school sign belonging to Maindee Primary School on May 4, as well as a footbridge belonging to Newport City Council on May 5.

Ross also targeted Maindee Primary school a second time on May 28, the Gwent Probation Service building on Lower Dock Street between May 27 and May 31, the University of South Wales Newport campus and the walls of the Masonic Hall on May 28.

Four other counts of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress were admitted by Ross between May 2 and May 5.

The charges read out in court noted his actions were based on the membership or perceived membership of a particular racial group.

He also admitted two counts of arson, setting fire to the front doors and hallway of the Masonic Hall in Lower Dock Street on May 28 and destroying a classroom at Bassaleg secondary school on May 29.

Judge Eleri Rees, addressing Ross’ legal representative Harry Baker, warned that the defendant was “not helping himself” by refusing to cooperate, and added she would order a psychiatric assessment before sentencing.

“A more sinister interpretation can be put on his behaviour because he has not explained his actions,” said Judge Rees.

“It does make it difficult for anybody to second guess that there might be a background that could help explain this.

“He doesn’t help himself in that way.

“I’m going to order a psychiatric assessment and we will set up a time table for sentencing.”

Addressing the defendant, Judge Rees added: “I would encourage you to try to cooperate and reflect upon what could be of assistance to you.”

Ross will now appear in court on August 21 for sentencing.

South Wales Argus.