The first police officer in Britain to be convicted of belonging to a neo-Nazi terrorist organisation has been jailed for four years and four months at the Old Bailey.

PC Ben Hannam, 22, was found guilty of membership of banned right-wing extremist group National Action (NA)following a trial at the Old Bailey in London.

He was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to join the Metropolitan Police and having terror documents detailing knife combat and making explosive devices.

Hannam had expressed intolerant views, once writing: “I’m not racist, I just don’t like people who’s skin is darker than mine! (sic)”

Judge Anthony Leonard QC sentenced Hannam, who was last week sacked by the Met for gross misconduct, to a total of four years and four months’ imprisonment on Friday.

The judge told him: “I consider what you did to be very serious and you have harmed public trust in the police by your deceit.

PC Ben Hannam, 22, was found guilty of membership of banned right-wing extremist group National Action (NA)
(Image: PA)

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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.”

Hannam, wearing beige chinos, a dark blue blazer, white shirt and tie showed no emotion as he was sentenced and taken down to the cells.

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said the evidence showed Hannam had “a consistent adherence to neo-Nazi tropes between 2014 and 2019″ demonstrated by his internet downloads, social media comments and schoolwork.”

Ben Hannam, 22, who has become the first British police officer to be convicted of belonging to a banned neo-Nazi terror group
(Image: PA)

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Hannam had been working as a probationary officer for the Metropolitan Police for nearly two years before he was found on a leaked database of users of extreme right-wing forum Iron March.

He had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of neo-Nazi group NA in March 2016.

The officer, who has autism, said he was “desperate to impress” an older NA organiser who gave him free stickers and badges.

Hannam’s association with NA ended before he began working for the Met and counter-terrorism officers acted “swiftly” once he had been identified as a suspect.

Hannam lied in his application to join the Met Police
(Image: PA)

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Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command, previously said it was a “unique” case.

He said: “Ben Hannam obviously lied on his application form to join the Met.

“He would never have been able to join had we known then of his interest in the extreme right wing and his previous membership of National Action.

“Once we identified his involvement with that organisation we took immediate steps to arrest him and put him before the court.”

Hannam attending an outdoor boxing event
(Image: PA)

He stressed there was no evidence Hannam abused his position “to further his extremist views”.

The ideology of NA was described in court as based on “Aryan purity” and hatred of non-white groups, particularly Jews.

Members venerated Adolf Hitler as a “divine figure” and celebrated violence, including war and genocide, the court heard.

In his first post on Iron March, Hannam wrote that he was “completely swayed” by NA.

Hannam’s former history teacher said he made “inappropriate” and “offensive” anti-immigration comments during a school Brexit debate.

In March 2016, Hannam signed up to Iron March when he joined the London branch of neo-Nazi group NA.

Hannam, who has autism, told jurors he was “desperate to impress” an older NA organiser who gave him free stickers and badges.

He went on to try to recruit a new member via Iron March and posed in an official photograph on Crosby Beach at the NA national conference in Liverpool in April 2016, jurors were told.

On December 16 2016, NA was proscribed after it glorified the terrorist murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

But Hannam, of Edmonton, north London, continued to meet high-profile figures in the neo-Nazi group.

CCTV grab of Benjamin Hannam at a Yates Bar in Swindon which was shown to the jury during his trial
(Image: PA)

Between January and July 2017, he saw them in pubs, at an outdoor boxing event, and when he spray-painted an NA symbol in a storm drain.

On July 19, days after the graffiti trip, which was filmed for a promotional video, Hannam applied to join Scotland Yard.

He fraudulently denied he had ever been a member of the British National Party “or similar organisation”.

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Mr Pawson-Pounds said the Met paid Hannam more than £66,000 in salary and benefits and he performed his duties to “an acceptable standard”.

Scotland Yard has said that checks on Hannam’s work revealed no complaints from colleagues or members of the public.

When officers searched his bedroom last year, they found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his membership of NA, as well as NA badges and business cards.

As early as May 2014, Hannam had expressed intolerant views, writing: “I’m not racist, I just don’t like people who’s skin is darker than mine! (sic)”



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