A man convicted of acting as “head of propaganda” for a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group set up to wage a race war in Britain has received an extended 10-year sentence, including two years on licence.
Ben Raymond, 32, co-founded the “unapologetically racist” organisation National Action in 2013, which promoted ethnic cleansing and attacks on LGBTQ+ people and liberals.
It was banned under terror legislation in December 2016, becoming the first far-right group to be proscribed since the British Union of Fascists in 1940. After the move by the Home Office, Raymond, from Wiltshire, helped National Action morph into a new group called NS131 – National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action.
A Bristol crown court, Judge Christopher Parker QC sentenced Raymond to an eight-year prison term and a two-year extended period on licence.
He will serve a minimum of five years and four months’ imprisonment before he can be considered for parole. He is also subject to the notification provisions of the Terrorism Act for 15 anni.
Passing sentence, the judge said National Action planned to recruit young people into its ranks and Raymond’s role as the propaganda chief was in effect “grooming” them.
“You intended that the material should be used in order to recruit new members, and specifically new young members," Egli ha detto. “It is clear this propaganda material was aimed at these young people. In effetti, these young people were at risk of being groomed by your material to commit acts of extreme racial violence [con] which National Action no doubt had sympathy.”
Raymond, from Swindon, was found guilty by a jury of being a member of a proscribed organisation contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act. He was further convicted of two counts of possessing a document or record of use to a terrorist contrary to section 58 of the act. He was acquitted of four further similar offences.
Barra McGrory QC, difendendo, sought to differentiate between National Action and terrorist groups such as the IRA and al-Qaida.
“The views of the organisation are undoubtedly repugnant to many people in the UK," Egli ha detto. “This is an extremely small group of individuals which is not one that is actually engaged in violent terrorist activity. Neither is it one that has a structure in terms of being organised into cells in militaristic guerrilla warfare, such as al-Qaida or the Irish Republican Army.”
McGrory said that since Raymond was first arrested four years ago, his “view of the world” had changed, having formed a relationship and become a father.
The court heard National Action members had access to rifles, a pump-action shotgun, a machete, a crossbow and CS gas.
The prosecutor, Barnaby Jameson QC, likened Raymond to Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, and said he avoided plotting attacks or hoarding weapons himself. Anziché, Raymond was described as the “public face” of National Action.
Nel mese di settembre 2015, Raymond gave an interview for a segment on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme called Radicals: The Proud Racist. He told the interviewer his ideal Britain was a “white Britain”, and claimed people were coming to the UK “to replace, rape and murder our people”.
He also wrote two books on his views. In his first, titled Attack!, he wrote: “We are done mincing our words, now we need something that flames the blood and fans the honour.”
In his second book, A Case for Fascism, he wrote: “Nobody has ever gotten anything by being ‘moderate’. Nobody has ever gotten anywhere by being ‘nice’.”