The sentencing hearing of the first-ever police officer in the United Kingdom convicted of belonging to a neo-Nazi terrorist group has been held, with the former police officer receiving a sentence of over four years in prison, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported late Friday.
On April 1, Benjamin Hannam, 22, was convicted of being a member of National Action between 2016 and 2017, fraud and two counts of possession of documents useful for terrorism.
National Action was banned and labeled a terrorist group by the government in December 2016.
Hannam joined London’s Metropolitan Police in March 2018 and worked there for almost two years.
He was subsequently sacked for gross misconduct after his name was found on a leaked database of users on an extremist right-wing internet forum.
After his arrest, police found a photo of him in his police uniform with a Hitler mustache drawn on his face and a Nazi badge on his uniform.
Police also discovered that he downloaded the manifesto by Anders Breivik, a right-wing terrorist who in 2011 killed 77 people, mostly children, in Norway.
Police also found Nazi propaganda posters on his bedroom walls.
Judge Anthony Leonard, who sentenced Hannam today, told him, “I consider what you did to be very serious and you have harmed public trust in the police by your deceit.”
The judge accepted that Hannam’s views “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,” he added.
Hannam’s jail term will be followed by a one-year license period.
In court, Hannam claimed that his interest in fascism stemmed from the “bold look” of Nazi propaganda posters and that he suffered from autism, which led him to obsessively download online material.