Neo-Nazi Met policeman who called Hitler ‘the big man’ jailed for four years

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AMetropolitan Policeofficer who joined a banned neo-Nazi terror group has been jailed for four years.

Rookie Pc Ben Hannam, 22, from Edmonton in north London, had been working as a probationary officer with the force for under two years before his links to far-right extremism were uncovered.

Officers searched his bedroom last year and found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his membership of National Action, as well as NA badges and business cards.

Earlier this month, he was convicted of belonging to the group at the Old Bailey.

On Friday, April 30, 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, with an extra one-year licence period.

"I consider what you did to be very serious and you have harmed public trust in the police by your deceit," the judge told him.

Hannam, wearing beige chinos, a dark blue blazer, white shirt and tie showed no emotion as he was sentenced and taken down to the cells.

The officer, who is autistic, signed up to far-right forum Iron March after joining the London branch of NA back in March 2016.

Hannam tried to recruit a new member using it, jurors were told.

He told him that most NA members agreed the “Hitler was right” slogan was “a bit too edgy” but added: “Then again, it is pretty funny and we all know our stance on the big man.”

However, his fascination with fascism began while he was still at school.

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Winchmore School history teacher Lisa Hughes told the court that during a Brexit debate in 2016, in which he spoke for leaving the European Union, Hannam made "inappropriate" anti-immigration comments and "came across as offensive to students".

In May 2017, she refused to submit an A-level politics dissertation because of his "intolerant" view of Islam.

Socially awkward Hannam told guidance adviser Hafida Zitouni about being rejected by his Mauritian Muslim girlfriend's parents.

At the NA national conference in Liverpool in April 2016, Hannam posed in an official photograph on Crosby Beach.

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On December 16, 2016, NA was proscribed after it glorified the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

However, Hannam continued to meet high-profile figures in the neo-Nazi group.

Between January and July 2017, he saw them in pubs, at an outdoor boxing event, and when he spray painted an NA symbol in a storm drain.

On July 19, days after the graffiti trip, which was filmed for a promotional video, Hannam applied to join Scotland Yard.

He fraudulently denied he had ever been a member of the British National Party “or similar organisation”.

Hannam said he was "desperate to impress" an older NA organiser who gave him free stickers and badges.

He told the jury: “I was under the impression this was some kind of youth network.

"I have never been stickering with NA nor have I done banner drops. I stuck to social activities.

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"Most of the time was going to the pub and going for walks. Other times camping or going boxing."

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

He was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to join the Metropolitan Police and having two terror documents detailing knife combat and making explosive devices.

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