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.”
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.
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.”
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 applied to join Scotland Yard, fraudulently denying he had ever been a member of the British National Party “or similar organisation”.
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)”