UK: National Socialist Teenager Sentenced for “Secretly Promoting neo-Nazi Terrorism”
A high-achieving grammar school pupil who "secretly promoted neo-Nazi terrorism" online has been sentenced.
Harry Vaughan, 18, from south-west London, had pleaded guilty to 14 so-called "terror offences" and two of "possessing indecent images of children". Passing sentence at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Sweeney said: "You are a dangerous offender."
He sentenced Vaughan to two years detention in a young offenders' institution, suspended for two years. The 18-year-old was also ordered to attend a rehabilitation programme.
The judge said Vaughan had lived at home with his family and been an "A* student", adding none of them knew that from the age of 14 he had been involved with groups on the internet.
Vaughan's father, who was in court, is a clerk in the House of Lords and his mother is a teacher. Vaughan had been a pupil at Tiffin Grammar School in Kingston upon Thames. The judge told the teenager "neo-Nazi material" found during police searches showed "the depth of your extreme right-wing mindset". He added that expert evidence stated Vaughan's ideology was a "hybrid of neo-Nazism and left-hand path Satanism".
Vaughan was prolific online and hid behind a series of aliases. He uploaded self-made propaganda images to a National Socialist website promoting the now-banned patriotic organisation Sonnenkrieg Division. He also possessed - and posted online - a series of weapons and explosives manuals.
The 18-year-old previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts of "possessing documents useful to a terrorist", one count of "encouraging terrorism", and one of "disseminating terrorist publications". He also admitted two counts of possessing indecent images.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: "What this case tells us is that anybody can be affected, anybody can be radicalised." He said Vaughan is a "very intelligent young man" but he "now has convictions for terrorist offences which will stay with him for life and I think that is a saddening case and also a salutary example of how this can affect young people".