Met Police officer accused of being member of neo-Nazi terrorist group and child sex offences appears in court

Benjamin Hannam has been banned from leaving the UK ahead of a trial

Lizzie Dearden
Security Correspondent
@lizziedearden
Friday 14 August 2020 14:10
Probationary Metropolitan Police officer Benjamin Hannam, 22, leaves Westminster Magistrates' Court on 6 August
Probationary Metropolitan Police officer Benjamin Hannam, 22, leaves Westminster Magistrates' Court on 6 August

A police officer accused of being a member of a neo-Nazi terrorist group has appeared in court.

Benjamin Hannam, 22, is also accused of possessing illegal images of children and lying to the Metropolitan Police on his application and vetting forms.

The force said he was still in his probation period when he was arrested and was currently suspended from duty.

Mr Hannam, of Enfield in north London, is charged with belonging to National Action between December 2016 - when the group was banned by the government - and January 2018.

He is also charged with two counts of fraud by false representation in relation to police documents filled out in 2017, by denying membership of an organisation similar to the British National Party.

The junior officer is further accused of possessing an indecent image of a child and a prohibited image of a child.

Mr Hannam was charged in July following an investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

At a brief hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, Mr Justice Sweeney set a provisional trial date on 1 March 2021, with the case expected to last for five weeks.

Mr Hannam, who appeared in a navy blue suit, spoke only to confirm his name and address and is due to enter pleas at a hearing on 14 December.

The court heard that he had been freed on bail under a series of conditions, including banning him from travelling abroad and restricting his internet usage to one device that police must be allowed to access.

Justice Sweeney told him: “It is essential that you comply to the letter with each and every bail condition and you will know, should you breach any condition, you are going to find yourself up in court with the possibility of being remanded into custody.”

The judge also warned him that if he failed to attend his plea hearing or trial, then the case would be likely to proceed in his absence.

Additional reporting by Press Association