The co-founder of banned neo-Nazi terror group National Action has been handed a 10-year extended prison sentence.

Ben Raymond, 32, was sentenced by a judge at Bristol Crown Court after being convicted of terrorism offences.
Raymond co-founded the “unapologetically racist” organisation, which promoted ethnic cleansing as well as attacks on LGBTQ people and liberals, in 2013.

It was banned under terror legislation in December 2016, becoming the first far-right group to be proscribed since the British Union of Fascists in 1940.
After the move by the Home Office, Raymond, from Wiltshire, helped National Action morph into a new group called NS131 – National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action.

At Bristol Crown Court, Judge Christopher Parker QC sentenced Raymond to an eight-year prison sentence and two-year extended period on licence.

Raymond will serve a minimum of five years and four months’ imprisonment before he can be considered for parole. He is also subject to the notification provisions of the Terrorism Act for 15 years.

Passing sentence, the judge said National Action planned to recruit young people into its ranks and Raymond’s role as the propaganda chief was in effect “grooming” them.
“You intended that the material should be used in order to recruit new members, and specifically new young members,” he said.
“It is clear this propaganda material was aimed at these young people. In effect these young people were at risk of being groomed by your material to commit acts of extreme racial violence which National Action no doubt had sympathy.”
Raymond, of Beechcroft Road, Swindon was found guilty by a jury of being a member of a proscribed organisation contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act.

He was further convicted of two counts of possessing a document or record of use to a terrorist contrary to Section 58 of the Act.
These documents were entitled, “2083 – European Declaration of Independence by Andrew Berwick” and “Homemade Detonators by Ragnar Benson”. He was acquitted of four further similar offences.

The leader of National Action Christopher Lythgoe was jailed for eight years in 2018 after he was found guilty of membership of the banned group.

National Action was earlier banned over its support of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death in 2016 by neo-Nazi Thomas Mair.

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