Jury Retires In "Neo-Nazi" Case

7 November 2018, 15:01

Claudia Patatas

A jury has retired to consider verdicts in the trial of three people - two from Banbury - accused of being members of a neo-Nazi terrorist group.

Adam Thomas, 22, and his 38-year-old partner Claudia Patatas - who jurors heard named their baby Adolf out of "admiration" for Hitler - are accused of membership of the banned group National Action.

Warehouse worker Daniel Bogunovic, 27, of Crown Hills Rise, Leicester, is also on trial at Birmingham Crown Court accused of the same charge.

During the trial, jurors saw a photograph of former Amazon security guard Thomas in the hooded white robes of the Ku Klux Klan, holding his newborn son.

Another image from what prosecutors called the "Thomas-Patatas family album" showed the smiling couple at home in Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire, with a swastika flag and Patatas holding the baby.

The couple allegedly had a poster stuck to their fridge reading "Britain is ours - the rest must go", and a pastry-cutter shaped like a swastika, kept in a kitchen cupboard.

The Crown's case is that after being banned by the Government in December 2016, the group simply "shed one skin for another" and "rebranded".

Jurors heard evidence of social media chats involving Thomas, wedding photographer Patatas and Bogunovic, discussing what prosecutors have alleged was National Action's continuing operation under a different name.

In one message allegedly sent by Thomas days after the ban, he said: "So since NA has been destroyed, the leadership generally of NA agreed it's to be disbanded. No attempt at revival.

"But the Midlands branch of NA, which is just 17-20 of us, have decided to ignore this and we've renamed ourselves the Thule Combat League.

"F****** traitors. Midlands will continue the fight alone."

It is further alleged Thomas and Patatas plastered National Action stickers in public locations after the ban, while Bogunovic was calling for a "leadership" meeting in a chat group for senior members in April 2017.

Sending the jury of six men and five women out on Tuesday, Judge Melbourne Inman QC told them to consider all the evidence impartially, and return verdicts upon which they were all "sure".

At the start of the six-week trial, Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said National Action had "shed one skin for another" by "rebranding" as the TripleK Mafia or Thule Combat League, to evade the law.

Opening the case, Mr Jameson said: "The Crown say all the defendants in this case along with those that have pleaded guilty or been convicted were cut from the same National Action cloth.

"They were fanatical, highly motivated, energetic, closely linked and mobile.

"And they all had, we say, a similar interest in ethnic cleansing, with violence if necessary, and the evidence in this case, we say, speaks for itself."

All three deny wrongdoing.