Met officer to face trial over alleged membership of far-right terror group

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Met officer to face trial over alleged membership of far-right terror group

Benjamin Hannam, 22, is accused of being in banned neo-Nazi group National action, as well as lying on his police application and vetting forms

Benjamin Hannam, 22, of Enfield, north London (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)
Benjamin Hannam, 22, of Enfield, north London (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

A probationary Metropolitan Police officer will face trial next year for allegedly being a member of the banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

Benjamin Hannam, 22, of Enfield, north London, is also accused of lying on his police application and vetting forms.

He allegedly claimed he was not a member of National Action, which was outlawed under terrorism legislation in December 2016.

The junior officer is further accused of possessing an indecent image of a child and a prohibited image of a child.

Hannam is charged with belonging to or professing to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely National Action, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, between December 2016 and January 2018.

He is also charged with two counts of fraud by false representation in relation to his police application and vetting forms.

The charges state he claimed he had not been a member of an organisation similar to the BNP, namely National Action, intending to make gain for himself, contrary to section 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Hannam also faces a charge of possessing an indecent photograph of a child, contrary to section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, as well as having a prohibited image of a child, contrary to section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

He was charged in July following an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command and has been suspended from duty, Scotland Yard said.

At a brief hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, Mr Justice Sweeney fixed Hannam’s trial for March 1 2021, with the case expected to last for five weeks.

Hannam, who appeared in a navy blue suit, spoke only to confirm his name and address. He is due to return to court for a plea hearing on December 14.

He has been bailed on conditions, including that he live and sleep at his home address, does not apply for foreign travel documents or travel abroad, and can use only one internet-enabled device which he must allow police to access.

Justice Sweeney told Hannam: “It is essential that you comply to the letter with each and every bail condition and you will know, should you breach any condition, you are going to find yourself up in court with the possibility of being remanded into custody.”

The judge also warned him that if he failed to attend his plea hearing or trial, then the case would be likely to proceed in his absence.

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