National Action trial: Members of neo-Nazi group jailed
A neo-Nazi couple who named their baby after Adolf Hitler and were convicted of being members of a banned terrorist group have been jailed.
Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, from Banbury, were part of National Action and had "a long history of violent racist beliefs", a judge said.
Birmingham Crown Court heard the couple gave their child the middle name Adolf in "admiration" of Hitler.
Thomas was jailed for six years and six months, and Patatas for five years.
In total six people were sentenced for being part of what Judge Melbourne Inman QC described as a group with "horrific aims".
Daniel Bogunovic, 27, from Leicester, was convicted of being a member of the banned group after standing trial alongside the couple.
Described by prosecutors as a "committed National Action leader, propagandist and strategist", he was jailed for six years and four months.
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Darren Fletcher, 28, from Wolverhampton, Nathan Pryke, 27, from March, Cambridgeshire, and Joel Wilmore, 24, from Stockport, had previously pleaded guilty to being in the group.
Fletcher, described by the judge as an "extreme member", was sentenced to five years.
Pryke, the group's "security enforcer" was given five years and five months and Wilmore, the "banker" and "cyber security" specialist, was imprisoned for five years and 10 months.
The judge said of National Action: "Its aims and objectives are the overthrow of democracy in this country by serious violence and murder and the imposition of a Nazi-style state that would eradicate whole sections of society."
In sentencing Patatas, he added: "You were equally as extreme as Thomas both in your views and actions.
"You acted together in all you thought, said and did, in the naming of your son and the disturbing photographs of your child, surrounded by symbols of Nazism and the Ku Klux Klan."
Thomas, a former Amazon security guard, and Patatas, a wedding photographer originally from Portugal, held hands and wept as they were sentenced.
Last week, the court heard Fletcher had trained his toddler daughter to perform a Nazi salute and sent a message to Patatas saying "finally got her to do it".
Jurors saw images of Thomas wearing Ku Klux Klan robes while cradling his baby, which he claimed were "just play" but he admitted being a racist.
Thomas was also found guilty of having bomb making instructions for which he was given a two-year-and-six-month sentence which he will serve concurrently.
A police search of the home he shared with Patatas uncovered machetes, knives and crossbows - one kept just a few feet from the baby's crib.
Extremist-themed paraphernalia including pendants, flags and clothing emblazoned with symbols of the Nazi-era SS and National Action was also recovered.
Among the items were a swastika-shaped pastry cutter and swastika scatter cushions.
- 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
Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said the defendants had taken part in National Action's chat groups, posting comments that showed "virulent racism, particularly from Thomas, Patatas and Fletcher".
He added: "Leaders Pryke, Wilmore and Bogunovic were more circumspect in their views but on occasion the true depth of their racial hatred leeched out."
He said a deleted Skype log recovered from Thomas's laptop stated that the "Midlands branch" of the neo-Nazi group would "continue the fight alone" after National Action disbanded after it was outlawed under anti-terror legislation in 2016.
Following the sentencing, Det Ch Supt Matt Ward, of West Midlands Police, said: "These sentences are the culmination of two years of painstaking work in the West Midlands and across the country to recognise and understand the threat of National Action.
"These individuals were not simply racist fantasists; we now know they were a dangerous, well-structured organisation.
"Their aim was to spread neo-Nazi ideology by provoking a race war in the UK and they had spent years acquiring the skills to carry this out.
"They had researched how to make explosives, they had gathered weapons and they had a clear structure to radicalise others. Unchecked they would have inspired violence and spread hatred and fear across the West Midlands."