Trio guilty of membership of banned British neo-Nazi group
Three people including a couple have today been found guilty of being members of National Action, a proscribed group that glorifies Hitler and the Third Reich.
The group was banned by the Home Office in December 2016.
Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, from Banbury were convicted alongside Daniel Bogunovic, 27, following a four week trial at Birmingham Crown Court. Thomas was also found guilty of having a terrorist manual on his laptop that gave advice on homemade explosives including a “soft drink can bomb”.
Three others pleaded guilty to being members of the banned organisation before the trial began on 8 October. Darren Fletcher, 28, Nathan Pryke, 27, and Joel Wilmore, 24, admitted the offence under the Terrorism Act. Wilmore also pleaded guilty to possessing a terrorist manual about how to make Molotov cocktails.
Deb Walsh from the CPS said: “After National Action was banned it went underground and changed its name but it did not disappear.
“These members continued to believe in its racist neo-Nazi worldview, remained in contact on encrypted messaging apps, and organised meetings to keep the group going.
“But they left a vast trail of incriminating evidence which led to three of them pleading guilty and the others being convicted by the jury today.”
The prosecution’s case was built around texts and images they shared on messaging apps before the ban in December 2016 and until September 2017. This demonstrated that even after National Action was proscribed they continued to operate as devoted members of the organisation but gave it different titles including “Triple K Mafia” – a reference to the Ku Klux Klan in the US.
The messages praised the Nazis, Hitler, the “final solution” and images included that of men dressed in paramilitary style clothes holding up or surrounded by National Action banners. They also arranged meetings including one in a pub in Sutton Coldfield in April 2017 attended by Pryke, Bogunovic, Fletcher, and Patatas.
Images were also found on Patatas’s laptop of Adam Thomas in Ku Klux Klan robes holding a machete taken at their home in Banbury. She also had a photo on her mobile of Thomas, Fletcher and others giving a Nazi salute under a crucifix outside Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. When Bogunovic’s house in Leicester was searched the police found a Nazi flag in his bedroom along with a large number of National Action stickers. He also had a National Action strategy manual on a memory stick.
All six will be sentenced on Friday 14 December.
Notes to editors
- The trial of Daniel Bogunovic (DOB 06/02/1991), Adam Thomas (DOB 22/08/1996) and Claudia Patatas (DOB 07/01/1980) began on 8 October at Birmingham Crown Court. The jury was sent out on 07 November and returned their verdicts on 12 November.
- They were each found guilty of membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Adam Thomas was also found guilty of one count of possessing a document containing terrorist information, contrary to section 58(1)(b) and (4) of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Three other defendants pleaded guilty before the start of the trial:
- Darren Fletcher (DOB 01/12/1989) pleaded guilty on 07/07/2018 to membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Nathan Pryke (DOB 11/03/1991) pleaded guilty on 17/09/2018 to membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Joel Wilmore (DOB 24/12/1993) pleaded guilty on 02/10/2018 to membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and to one count of possessing a document containing terrorist information, contrary to section 58(1)(b) and (4) of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Deb Walsh is the acting head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS.