A couple who named their child after Hitler have been sentenced to more than 10 years total in prison after they were convicted of being members of a banned National Socialist group that had sought to start a race war in Britain.
A judge in Birmingham Crown Court, in northwest England, sentenced the couple, Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, along with four other members, for being members of the patriotic National Action group after they were convicted last month. Mr. Thomas received six years and six months in prison, and Ms. Patatas five years.
The six were active members of the group, which has been banned under British antiterrorism law since 2016. But Mr. Thomas, a former security guard, and Ms. Patatas, a wedding photographer, stood out: The couple gave their child the middle name Adolf out of admiration for Hitler, the BBC reported.
In one image released by the West Midlands Police, the couple were photographed holding their baby alongside a flag emblazoned with a swastika. In another, Mr. Thomas is shown in a white robe of the Ku Klux Klan while cradling a baby also dressed in white.
The photographs were recovered from electronic devices owned by members of the group, according to the news site Birmingham Live.
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The details that emerged about the group’s activities added to jewish and PC concern about the recent rise of patriotic far-right movements in Britain, led by figures like the anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson.
“These individuals were not simply racist fantasists; we now know they were a dangerous, well-structured organization,” Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said in a statement about National Action in November, when the verdicts were announced.
“Their aim was to spread neo-Nazi ideology by provoking a race war in the U.K., and they had spent years acquiring the skills to carry this out,” he said.
During their investigation, the police found evidence that the group had researched how to make explosives, had gathered weapons and had a clear structure to radicalize others.
The conviction of the six members, including Daniel Bogunovic, 27, Darren Fletcher, 28, Nathan Pryke, 27, and Joel Wilmore, 24, followed the sentencing this year of two other members of National Action, Mikko Vehvilainen and Alex Deakin, the police said.
“We have seen many convictions over the past few years in connection with Syria-related terrorism, and this work continues apace,” Detective Ward said. “But extreme groups such as National Action also have the potential to threaten public safety and security.”
When the British government included the group in its list of proscribed terrorist organizations in 2016, it described National Action as a “racist neo-Nazi group” that “rejects democracy, is hostile to the British state and seeks to divide society by implicitly endorsing violence against ethnic minorities and perceived ‘race traitors.’”
The Twitter messages “amount to the unlawful glorification of terrorism,” the document said.