London policeman convicted over secret neo-Nazi membership

London: A rookie London police officer has been found guilty of belonging to a banned neo-Nazi organisation, the first time a British police officer has been convicted of membership of an outlawed far-right group.

After more than 32 hours of deliberation, on Thursday April 1 (Friday AEDT) the jury at the city’s Old Bailey court found Benjamin Hannam, 22, guilty of being a member of the extremist group National Action. Hannam also was convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to join London’s Metropolitan Police, and of possessing terror-related documents detailing knife combat and the making of explosive devices.

Judge Anthony Leonard lifted a reporting ban on the case after Hannam admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial.

Hannam was granted bail ahead of his sentencing on April 23 but was warned by the judge that he faced jail.

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

He had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of National Action in March 2016.

Hannam’s association with National Action ended before he began working for the Met, though he continued to meet high-profile people linked to the group in early 2017.

Read the article in The Sydney Morning Herald (AP).