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Grammar schoolboy sentenced for encouraging far-right terrorism and possessing indecent images of children

|News, Terrorism , Sexual offences

An 18-year-old from south London has today been sentenced to two years' detention in a young offender institution, suspended for two years, after he pleaded guilty to 14 counts of terrorism and two of possessing indecent videos featuring young boys.

He was also given a Serious Crime Prevention Order to enable monitoring of his internet use for a period of five years.

Harry Vaughan, who was predicted to get three A*s and one A in his A-Levels, admitted encouraging others to commit terrorist acts inspired by his neo-Nazi ideology.

He also accepted he had shared a link containing a number of books detailing urban warfare skills, bomb making guides and how to use weapons.

He added: “…some if not most of these files fall under materials useful to someone preparing an act of terrorism (not something you want to get done for). In fact, so do a lot of the files I see being posted here. The feds can and will charge you”.

The offences date back to January 2019 when Vaughan was just 16 years old and posted three images and a message on an online neo-Nazi forum.

He was arrested at his parents’ home in Twickenham on 19 June 2019 on suspicion of disseminating terrorist publications and the address was searched. The main items used in the prosecution’s case against Vaughan were his laptop and mobile phones. He had used these to upload the offending material to Fascist Forge - a neo-Nazi website.

The site was launched in 2018 and is an online forum used by extreme right-wing militants. It emphasises violent tactics, including the creation of small terrorist cells, and the need to prepare for an imminent race war.

Jenny Hopkins, head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS, said: “Harry Vaughan was an A-grade student at a prestigious grammar school in south London who chose to pursue his obsession with racist, far-right politics online.

“The material found on his laptop and mobile phone was overwhelming and he pleaded guilty.

“This case reinforces once again there isn’t just one type of person who engages in terrorism in the UK, and shows the hard work of the criminal justice system in holding these people to account.”

Notes to editors

  • On 2 September 2020, Harry Vaughan (DOB 23/05/2002) pleaded guilty to 16 charges:
    • One count of encouraging terrorism by publishing images and a message on “Fascist Forge”, which were likely to be understood by those to whom they were published as a direct or indirect encouragement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, and, at the time of doing so he intended them to be so encouraged, contrary to section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006;
    • One count of distributing terrorist publications by publishing two links on ‘Fascist Forge’ and at the time of doing so he intended an effect of his conduct to be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, contrary to section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006;
    • Twelve counts of possessing documents containing information of a kind likely to be of use to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000; and
    • Two counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children Act 1978
  • Jenny Hopkins is the head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS.

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