Six in court charged with membership of far-right group National Action
All are accused of being a member of a proscribed organisation contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act.
Five men and a woman have appeared in court charged with being members of banned far-right group National Action.
Nathan Pryke, 26; Adam Thomas, 21; Claudia Patatas, 38; Darren Fletcher, 28; Daniel Bogunovic, 26; and 24-year-old Joel Wilmore appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
All six were charged after an inquiry involving the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, supported by colleagues in four other regions.
The arrests took place last Wednesday & were pre-planned & intelligence-led; there was no threat to the public’s safety. Details of those charged can be found here: https://t.co/oiS3wtSTlC— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) January 8, 2018
Indicating his not guilty plea, a bearded Bogunovic, wearing a navy and grey cardigan, said: “I intend to clear my good name and to fight these charges from start to finish, not guilty.”
His five co-defendants also indicated not guilty pleas.
The charges relate to belonging to the banned group between December 17 2016 and September 5 last year.
Bogunovic is also charged with intending to stir up racial hatred by posting National Action-branded stickers at the Aston University campus in Birmingham.
He indicated a not guilty plea to that charge.
Thomas, who sported a shaved head, indicated a not guilty plea to possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely the Anarchist Cookbook.
The five men gave their identities as British while Patatas, who wore a grey tracksuit and glasses, told the court she is Portuguese.
A short-haired Fletcher, who wore a grey tracksuit, also faces five counts of breaching an anti-social behaviour order.
Thomas and Patatas, both of Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire; Pryke, of Dartford Road, March, Cambridgeshire; Fletcher, of Kitchen Lane, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton; Bogunovic, of Crown Hills Rise, Leicester; and Wilmore, of Bramhall Moor Lane, Hazel Grove, Stockport, were arrested last Wednesday.
The decision by the Government to ban National Action came into force in December 2016, making membership of the group a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
At the time the ban was brought in, the Home Office said the neo-Nazi group was the first far-right organisation to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation.
All six are due to appear next at the Old Bailey on January 19.