The lawyer common has been requested to think about whether or not a neo-Nazi scholar was given an “unduly lenient” sentence for a terror offence.
Ben John was handed a suspended jail sentence for possessing a terrorist doc, which means he won’t be jailed until he breaks the circumstances imposed by the court docket.
Choose Timothy Spencer QC ordered the 21-year-old to trade excessive right-wing materials for literary classics at a sentencing listening to on Tuesday.
“Have you ever learn Dickens? Austen? Begin with Delight and Prejudice and Dickens’ A Story of Two Cities. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Evening. Take into consideration Hardy. Take into consideration Trollope,” the choose was reported to have stated.
”On 4 January you’ll inform me what you’ve gotten learn and I’ll take a look at you on it. I’ll take a look at you and if I feel you’re [lying to] me you’ll undergo.”
Studies of the sentencing sparked fierce debate, and comparisons with sentences given to different younger folks for a similar offence.
The counter-extremist organisation Hope Not Hate despatched a letter to the lawyer common on Wednesday calling for a evaluation beneath the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme.
Chief government Nick Lowles wrote: “A suspended sentence and a prompt studying listing of English classics for a terror conviction is unduly lenient for a criminal offense of this nature.
“This sentence is sending a message that violent right-wing extremists could also be handled leniently by the courts. That could be a harmful message to ship when the far proper poses the fastest-growing terror menace at this time.”
Mr Lowles argued that “lenient sentences” may lead younger folks to not worry repercussions from accessing terrorist and extremist content material on-line.
A spokesperson for the Legal professional Basic’s Workplace stated: “We now have obtained a request for the sentence of Ben John to be thought-about beneath the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. The legislation officers have 28 days from sentencing to think about the case and decide.”
If the request is granted, the sentence shall be assessed by Court docket of Enchantment judges and could also be modified.
Choose Spencer labelled John a “unhappy fantasist”, saying he didn’t have any terrorist motivations himself and was not more likely to trigger hurt.
Leicester Crown Court docket heard John had amassed a wealth of white supremacist, antisemitic and satanic materials, in addition to explosives manuals.
Following a trial in August, a jury convicted him of 1 depend of possessing data helpful to a terrorist over a doc containing directions on easy methods to assemble varied explosive units.
John was acquitted of six different counts of the identical offence, after saying he didn’t know what the paperwork contained.
On the time of his arrest in January 2020, John was learning for a criminology and psychology diploma on the College of Leicester.
Choose Spencer rejected his claims that the analysis was a “mere tutorial fascination”, and located that he had aligned with excessive ideologies.
John was given a two-year jail sentence, which was suspended for 2 years, and should fulfil the phrases of a five-year Severe Crime Prevention Order and tagged curfew.
He was launched from custody on the sentencing listening to, having been held on remand since 11 August as a result of he had damaged his bail circumstances.
Detective Inspector James Manning, of Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands, stated: “John possessed a wealth of Nationwide Socialist and antisemitic materials which indicated a fascination and perception in a white supremacist ideology, together with assist for an excessive satanic group [the Order of Nine Angles] which is more and more of concern for legislation enforcement companies.
“The terrorist materials he was present in possession of is extraordinarily harmful, and he acquired this to additional his ideology. It signifies the menace that he and different followers of this hateful ideology pose to nationwide safety.”
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