Racist couple and two others guilty of banned hate group membership
Five people have been convicted of membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000. One pleaded guilty in January 2019 and the others were convicted today.
Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said: “Each of these people continued their membership of National Action after it was proscribed as a terrorist organisation.
“We were able to prove they arranged meetings in different towns, scanned people attending for hidden mobile phones and listening devices and used a number of cyber security apps.
“Their fanatical racism meant they were not prepared to break the bonds that united them in hatred."
The CPS’s case
Five people were prosecuted for membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Mark Jones (DOB 08/09/1994), Garry Jack (DOB 06/11/1995), and Connor Scothern (DOB 05/02/2001) admitted they were committed members of National Action but said they had quit once it was banned in December 2016.
Alice Cutter (DOB 21/05/1996) said she was never a member. All four were found guilty on 19 March following a 10-week trial. They have been remanded in custody pending their sentencing.
Daniel Ward (DOB 05/08/1990) pleaded guilty in January 2019 and was given a three-year prison sentence in July at Birmingham Crown Court.
The prosecution presented evidence that they continued to be active members of National Action after it was banned by the Home Office.
The evidence included their membership of common chat groups, common ideology and mindset, common violent and racist imagery, and an obsession with weapons and paraphernalia found in searches. The only possible conclusion from all of these pieces of evidence combined was that they had continued their membership of the banned organisation.
There was extensive evidence of a National Action ‘chat group’ called the ‘Triple K Mafia’, which showed they were in touch with others who were also later convicted of membership.
Days before the ban Alice Cutter sent panicked messages saying there was no way to wipe pro-National Action material from her tablet and mobile.
The CPS was able to show the jury that if her defence was that she was never a member, why was she so worried about erasing data from her devices.
The CPS's evidence included the fact that Garry Jack was convicted in 2018 for inciting racial hatred after placing sticker in Birmingham alongside other members of National Action before it was banned.
From as early as January 2017 - a few weeks after the ban - they attended meetings with other National Action supporters, the first of which was held in Birmingham.
Cutter and Jones became a couple and moved in together. In a search of their home police found National Action photographs and stickers, Nazi paraphernalia, a body scanner, knuckledusters and numerous knives including a folding serrated knife.
After they were arrested police carried out another search and found Nazi books, swastika earrings and scarves, numerous knives, a catapult, ball bearings, and a knuckleduster.
Items found at Connor Scothern’s home included incriminating photographs including KKK images on his electronic devices, a Nazi flag, a longbow, and Nazi stickers.
The first trial of Cutter, Jack, Southern and Jones started on 18 March 2019 at Birmingham Crown Court but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Their retrial began on 6 January 2020.
This prosecution is the last in a series of cases from the Midlands alleging membership of National Action after the ban. Eleven people have so far been convicted with sentences of imprisonment ranging from three to eight years.
Notes to editors
- Mark Jones (DOB: 08/09/1994), Garry Jack (DOB: 06/11/1995), and Connor Scothern (DOB: 05/02/2001) admitted they were committed members of National Action before the group was banned on 16 December 2016 but claimed they had quit once it was banned as a terrorist organisation
- Alice Cutter (DOB: 21/05/1996) claimed she was never a member
- Daniel Ward (DOB: 05/08/1990) pleaded guilty before the trial started at Birmingham Crown Court
- Jenny Hopkins is the head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS.