Police officer jailed for membership to hateful Neo-nazi terror group
A Met Police officer has been sentenced to four years in prison for membership of a banned Neo-nazi terror group National Action.
Benjamin Hannam, 22, from Edmonton in north London, was arrested in March 2020 after he was listed as a user of the extremist forum Iron March when a database leaked.
During his trial, the Old Bailey heard that Hannam became involved with the neo-Nazi group in 2016 and was an “active recruiter”.
After National Action was banned in December that year, he joined a successor group and “continued to meet with like-minded individuals at what were clearly National Action events”, prosecutors said.
After his arrest, detectives found an image on his iPhone showing him in police uniform with a Hitler-style moustache superimposed on his face, and a Nazi badge on his jacket.
Hannam also downloaded a copy of the “manifesto” of the right-wing extremist Anders Breivik, who massacred 77 people, mostly children, in Norway in 2011. He was also in possession of a knife-fighting manual.
On 1 April, 2021, he was found guilty of being a member of a banned terrorist organisation, two counts of fraud for lying on his Met Police application, and having terror documents detailing knife combat and explosive devices.
On Friday (30 April), judge Anthony Leonard QC sentenced Hannam to four years and four months in prison, with an extra one-year licence period.
According to Sky News, Leonard said: “I consider what you did to be very serious and you have harmed public trust in the police by your deceit.
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“I accept your politics… played absolutely no part in your policing and you provided value for the salary you obtained.
“And I do not believe you had any plans to infiltrate yourself into the police force so as to be useful to the far-right at any stage. There is absolutely no evidence for that.”
The judge added that he had taken mitigating factors into account, including that the man’s autism could have made him “more susceptible” to extremist messaging.
Hannam has worked as probationary officer for the Met Police for almost two years at the time of his arrest, having passed all background checks despite his extensive involvement in Neo-nazi activities.
He is believed to be the first British police officer ever convicted of a terror offence.
The former officer also admitted to possessing a prohibited image of a child, which will be addressed in a separate trial.