Benjamin Hannam, of Enfield, North London, has been found guilty of being a member of the Neo-Nazi terrorist organisation, the group banned a right-wing extremist group National Action (NA).
Hannam has also been convicted of lying on his Met Police application and having terror documents detailing knife combat and making explosive devices. All of which he had denied.
The deception was as easy as ticking a box.
In 2017, Hannam had filled out his application form to join the Metropolitan Police, on application, he was asked if he had ever been in the far-right British National Party or any organisations whose aims “may contradict the duty to promote race equality”.
Hannam ticked “no”. The deception at that point was as easy as ticking a box.
Once accepted onto the force, he then spent two years in the force, working among communities in North London taking on the role as his own, at points even interviewing on suspects on his own.
But, evidence found that just two days before he applied to join the force, he had also appeared in a neo-Nazi propaganda video.
During Hannams trial, several witnesses all of which knew Hannam gave evidence. One witness, an old school girlfriend of Mauritian and Muslim heritage, as well as friends from various ethnic backgrounds, all gave evidence that he never showed any prejudice towards them.
It was also given that he has one grandparent who is gay and another step-grandparent is Jewish.
However, a teacher had spoken to the jurors saying she had been unable to mark one essay submitted by Hannam – the first time this had happened in 20 years of teaching – because of “concerning content” and his “intolerance” towards Islam.
There were also conversations had with Hannam after some students at his school had reacted to “anti-immigration” views he had shared during a debate. However, the Met never took a reference from the school.
The PC with a dark secret
Following his arrest in March last year, officers discovered a NA business card and badges, as well as writings about his involvement with the group.
At the Old Bailey, Judge Anthony Leonard QC lifted a ban on reporting the case after the 22-year-old admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial. Detectives also found he was in possession of multiple prohibited images including “pseudo images” of young boys and girls.
The PC had been working as a probationary officer for the Met for nearly two years before he was found on a leaked database of users of extreme right-wing forum Iron March.
He had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of neo-Nazi group NA in March 2016.
Hannam had denied all the offences, telling the court he had never been a member of NA despite regularly attending group meetings.
After the jury returned their verdict, the judge said Hannam had been “convicted of serious offences” and was being bailed as a “courtesy”.
Jenny Hopkins, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Hannam’s “lies have caught up with him and he’s been exposed as an individual with deeply racists beliefs”.
“Benjamin Hannam would not have got a job as a probationary police constable if he’d told the truth about his membership of a banned, far-right group,” she added.
Cdr Richard Smith, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said “the public expect police officers to carry out their duties with the very highest levels of honesty and integrity.
“Sadly, PC Hannam showed none of these qualities.”