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National Action trial: Man trained daughter to do Nazi salute

Darren Fletcher, Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas
Image caption Darren Fletcher, Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas

A far-right extremist trained his toddler daughter to perform a Nazi salute for the camera, a court heard.

After filming the video, Darren Fletcher then told another member of neo-Nazi group National Action: "Finally got her to do it".

Fletcher is set to be jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to membership of the group, which was banned by the home secretary.

He is one of six people being sentenced in a two-day hearing.

Barnaby Jameson QC, for the prosecution, told Judge Melbourne Inman QC the video was an "aggravating factor" which could affect Fletcher's sentencing.

In a brief clip played in court, the toddler was shown raising her right arm above her head, towards the camera, and then turning to walk off.

Mr Jameson said Fletcher, who had voluntarily decided not to appear in court on Friday, then sent a message four minutes after the child was recorded which read: "Finally got her to do it."

Mr Jameson said: "What Fletcher had succeeded in doing, we say, was getting his daughter to give a Nazi salute."

Image copyright West Mids Police
Image caption Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas named their baby Adolf out of "admiration" for Hitler

Also among the six being sentenced are "fanatical" neo-Nazi couple Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, who jurors were told at their trial had named their baby "Adolf" in "admiration" of Hitler.

Searches by counter-terrorism police of their home in Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire, also discovered Swastika scatter cushions and a pastry-cutter shaped like the Nazi party symbol.

Daniel Bogunovic, 27, of Crown Hills Rise, Leicester, who was described in court on Friday as a "committed National Action leader, propagandist and strategist", will also be sentenced in the hearing which is concluding next week.

He had stood trial alongside Thomas and Patatas, while three other men including Fletcher, 28, of Kitchen Lane, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, had admitted membership beforehand.

The two other men, cyber security worker and the Midlands' National Action cell's "banker" Joel Wilmore, 24, and van driver Nathan Pryke, 26, described as the group's "security enforcer", will also be sentenced.

Fletcher, Pryke, of Dartford Road, March, Cambridgeshire, and Wilmore, of Bramhall Road, Stockport, Greater Manchester, and the other defendants face up to 10 years in jail.

Image copyright West Mids Police
Image caption Daniel Bogunovic, Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas stayed in National Action after it was banned

National Action

  • The group was founded in 2013 by Ben Raymond, now 29, and Alex Davies, now 24
  • It was intended to be an explicitly neo-Nazi party
  • Raymond was a politics graduate from the University of Essex, and Davies was a Welsh former member of the British National Party
  • National Action shunned democratic politics, regarding itself instead as a youth-based street movement
  • It is believed it never had more than 100 members
  • Its activities involved leafleting university campuses, aggressive publicity stunts and city-centre demonstrations
  • In 2015, 25-year-old member Zack Davies used a hammer and machete to attack a Sikh dentist and was jailed for attempted murder
  • After the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, an official National Action Twitter account posted: "Only 649 MPs to go #WhiteJihad"
  • The group was banned later that year after the government concluded it was "concerned in terrorism"
  • It became the first far-right group to be proscribed in this country since World War Two
Image copyright West Mids Police/PA
Image caption Jurors were shown a picture showing Adam Thomas in the robes of the Ku Klux Klan
Image copyright West Mids Police/PA
Image caption A swastika-shaped pastry cutter was found in the home of Patatas and Thomas

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