Five years and five months jail for the March man who was a van driver by day but by night joined and worked with Neo-Nazi sympathisers

PUBLISHED: 14:34 18 December 2018

Nathan Pryke of March (left) who admitted membership of banned neo-Nazi group National Action. He was jailed for five years and five months. The other images are part of those released by police showing other group members, also convicted and jailed. Picture: WEST MIDLANDS POLICE

Nathan Pryke of March (left) who admitted membership of banned neo-Nazi group National Action. He was jailed for five years and five months. The other images are part of those released by police showing other group members, also convicted and jailed. Picture: WEST MIDLANDS POLICE

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By day he was a van driver but outside of work Nathan Pryke of March belonged to an extreme right-wing organisation that included a fanatical neo-Nazi couple who named their baby son in honour of Hitler.

Pryke, 27, of Dartford Road, described in court as security enforcer for the Midlands group of National Action was jailed for five years and five months for membership of a banned organisation. He pleaded guilty before the trial began.

Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, the couple who named their baby Adolf, were guilty of belonging to National Action and at Birmingham Crown Court were jailed for six years and six months, and five years, respectively.

The court heard how the group used several methods to disguise their contact with each other such as using pseudonyms through closed, encrypted messaging platforms as well as regularly meeting in person to spread their ideology.

Following sentencing, head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU) Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, said: “These individuals were not simply racist fantasists; we now know they were a dangerous, well-structured organisation. “Their aim was to spread neo-Nazi ideology by provoking a race war in the UK and they had spent years acquiring the skills to carry this out. They had researched how to make explosives, they had gathered weapons and they had a clear structure to radicalise others. Unchecked they would have inspired violence and spread hatred and fear across the West Midlands.

“The convictions have dealt a significant blow to National Action. We have dismantled their Midlands Chapter and seen these individuals jailed for lengthy periods but that doesn’t mean the threat they pose will go away.

“Others on the periphery will take on leadership roles and so I again ask for the public’s vigilance - if you see this group’s posters or stickers please report them to police - where there are new cells, we will intercept and prosecute them.”

Judge Melbourne Inman QC described National Action as a group with “horrific aims”.

He said: “Its aims and objectives are the overthrow of democracy in this country by serious violence and murder, and the imposition of a Nazi-style state which would eradicate whole sections of society by such violence and mass murder.”

Opening the case, Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said all six defendants had been members post-ban and taken part in the organisation’s chat groups, which were staging posts for comments of “virulent racism”.

Among the group he said Pryke was one of those who had been “more circumspect” in his views but on occasion the true depth of his racial hatred “leeched out”.

Last week, the court heard the prosecution claim that one defendant had taught his daughter to give a Nazi salute, and that he sent a message to another group member saying “finally got her to do it”.

The jury was told that Thomas and Patatas gave their child the middle name “Adolf”, which Thomas said was in “admiration” of Hitler, and the couple had Swastika scatter cushions in their home.

Photographs recovered from their address also showed Thomas cradling his newborn son while wearing the hooded white robes of a Ku Klux Klansman.

In conversation with another National Action member, Patatas said “all Jews must be put to death”, while Thomas had once told his partner he found “all non-whites intolerable”.

Former Amazon security guard Thomas and Patatas, a wedding photographer originally from Portugal who also wanted to “bring back concentration camps”, were found guilty after a seven-week trial.

Thomas, a twice-failed Army applicant, was also convicted on a majority verdict of having a terrorist manual, namely the Anarchist’s Cookbook, which jurors heard contained instructions on making “viable” bombs.

The couple, of Waltham Gardens, Banbury, held hands and wept as they were sentenced.

DCS Ward said: “We have seen many convictions over the past few years in connection with Syria-related terrorism and this work continues apace. But extreme groups such as National Action also have the potential to threaten public safety and security.

“We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.

“If anyone has any suspicions over an individual’s behaviour and suspects them to be involved in this type of activity, I would urge you to report it to police as soon as possible. You can report suspicions online via ACT campaign’s website or call police confidentially on 0800 789 321. In an emergency dial 999.

“Suspicious activity is anything that seems out of place, unusual or just doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life - Let us decide if it is important.”

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