Lincolnshire: Neo-Nazi sentenced under the Terrorism Act

A white supremacist with a neo-Nazi ideology who was convicted of terrorism has today (Tuesday) been sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

Court news

Ben John (21) of Addison Drive, Lincoln, had been found guilty of one count of having in his possession a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act by a jury on August 12.

His sentence was handed down by a judge at Leicester Crown Court.

He had become part of the Extreme Right Wing (XRW) online, and was studying Criminology with Psychology in Leicester when he was arrested.

The XRW is the term for activists who commit criminal activity motivated by a political or cultural view point encompassing racism, extreme nationalism, fascism and neo-Nazism.

During his trial, it emerged that forensic computer investigators found a hard drive in his possession containing a radical publication originally circulated in the 70s which contains diagrams and instructions on how to construct various explosive devices. It is illegal to knowingly possess material that could assist in terrorist-related activities.

He had also amassed 67,788 documents in bulk downloads onto hard drives, which contained a wealth of white supremacist and anti-Semitic material, as well as material related to a Satanist organisation.

One of the hard drives was found hidden inside a sock when officers searched his home.

The jury had voted unanimously to find him guilty of the offence.

Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands (CTP EM) Detective Inspector, James Manning, led the investigation in partnership with regional and national agencies.

He said: “This was a young man who could be anyone’s son, studying at university, and living one life in public, while conducting another in private.

“He possessed a wealth of National Socialist and anti-Semitic material which indicated a fascination and belief in a white supremacist ideology along with support for an extreme Satanic group which is increasingly of concern for law enforcement agencies.

“The terrorist material he was found in possession of is extremely dangerous, and he acquired this to further his ideology. It indicates the threat that he and other followers of this hateful ideology pose to National Security.

“It was not light reading, or material most would concern themselves with for legitimate reasons. This has been a long and complex investigation over the course of 11 months.”

The judge said this was John’s “last chance”, and commended the investigating team on their work.

This afternoon, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “There are many factors that can make someone vulnerable to radicalisation.

“If you’re concerned about a loved one, act early and tell us your concerns in confidence.

“You won’t be wasting our time and you won’t ruin lives, but you might save them.”

• Visit the Act Early website at https://actearly.uk for more information.