National Action: Six alleged neo-Nazis appear in court charged with joining banned terrorist group

Five men and one woman indicate they will plead not guilty to terror offences

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Tuesday 09 January 2018 16:59 GMT
The hearing took place at Westminster Magistrates' Court
The hearing took place at Westminster Magistrates' Court (Google Streetview)

Six alleged neo-Nazis have appeared in court charged with joining the banned terrorist group National Action.

Nathan Pryke, 26, Adam Thomas, 21, Claudia Patatas, 38, Darren Fletcher, 28, Daniel Bogunovic, 26, and 24-year-old Joel Wilmore were arrested in coordinated raids by armed police across the Midlands and North last week.

They all indicated that they would plead not guilty to a charge of being concerned in commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism by being members of National Action.

Mr Bogunovic, of Crown Hills Rise in Leicester, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court: “I intend to clear my good name and to fight these charges from start to finish, not guilty.”

He also denied intending to stir up racial hatred by posting National Action-branded stickers at the Aston University campus in Birmingham.

Mr Thomas, of Waltham Gardens in Banbury, indicated a not guilty plea to possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely the Anarchist Cookbook.

The five men gave their identities as British while Ms Patatas, of Waltham Gardens in Banbury, told the court she is Portuguese.

Mr Fletcher, of Kitchen Lane in Wolverhampton, also faces five counts of breaching an anti-social behaviour order.

The defendants, including Mr Pryke, of Dartford Road in March, and Mr Wilmore, of Bramhall Moor Lane in Stockport, were remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at the Old Bailey on 19 January.

National Action became the first far-right terrorist group to be banned by the Government in December 2016, making membership a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment.

The Government has since proscribed two of its aliases, Scottish Dawn and NS131 (National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action), which had been operating in the Midlands.

Tuesday’s hearing came a day after a self-professed Nazi who gave speeches describing Jewish people as “parasites” was convicted of stirring up racial hatred in an unrelated case.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made one of the speeches on the Blackpool promenade in March 2016 at a far right-demonstration, during which he claimed that Adolf Hitler had got it wrong by showing mercy to Jewish people.

He told people who attended the demonstration that the British had fought on the wrong side of the Second World War and should have supported the Nazis, adding: “We need to start focusing on the real enemy. The real enemy is the Jew…you can call me Nazi, you can call me fascist. That is what I am.”

In another speech at a gathering of far-right groups in North Yorkshire, he said Jewish people needed to be eradicated and claimed he was recruiting for National Action – which had not been proscribed at the time - as one of its supporters. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Additional reporting by PA

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