Couple who named baby after Hitler jailed for membership of neo-Nazi group
By Lianne Kolirin, CNN
A couple who named their baby after Adolf Hitler and were members of a banned neo-Nazi group in Britain have been jailed for more than 10 years combined.
Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, were sentenced to six-and-a-half and five years respectively at Birmingham Crown Court after a jury found them guilty of being members of National Action, which was banned in Britain in 2016.
The pair were sentenced alongside their four others, including their friend Darren Fletcher who the prosecution claimed had taught his daughter to perform a Nazi salute.
Fletcher, who admitted membership of the group prior to seven-week trial which ended last month, was said to have sent Patatas a message saying “finally got her to do it,” the UK Press Association reported.
During the trial, the jury heard that Thomas and Patatas had given their child the middle name Adolf, while photos found at their house showed the newborn baby being cradled by his father dressed as a hooded Ku Klux Klan member.
Thomas had twice applied — but failed — to join the British Army. He had previously worked as a security guard at Amazon. He was also convicted on a majority verdict of having a terrorist manual, which contained instructions on making “viable” bombs.
Patatas, originally from Portugal, worked as a wedding photographer. The jury heard that she told another member of the group that “all Jews must be put to death” and that she wanted to “bring back concentration camps.”
Sentencing Patatas, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “You were equally as extreme as Thomas both in your views and actions.
“You acted together in all you thought, said and did, in the naming of your son and the disturbing photographs of your child, surrounded by symbols of Nazism and the Ku Klux Klan.”
The pair stood trial alongside Daniel Bogunovic, 27, from Leicester, who was described in court last week as a “committed National Action leader, propagandist and strategist,” within the group’s Midlands cell.
The two other men, cyber security worker and the Midlands’ National Action cell’s “banker” Joel Wilmore, 24, and van driver Nathan Pryke, 26, described as the group’s “security enforcer,” were also sentenced.
The court handed down the following jail sentences: Bogunovic, six years and four months; Fletcher, five years; Pryke, five years and five months; and Wilmore five years and 10 months.
Opening the case on Friday, Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said all six had been members of the group post-ban and taken part in the organization’s chat groups, which were staging posts for comments of “virulent racism, particularly from Thomas, Patatas and Fletcher.”
He added: “Leaders Pryke, Wilmore and Bogunovic were more circumspect in their views but on occasion the true depth of their racial hatred leeched out.
The group was outlawed after it had celebrated the murder of Labour Party member of Parliament Jo Cox. The then home secretary, Amber Rudd, called it “racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic.”
Rudd added that it is an “organization which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence, and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it. It has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone.”
The judge said the group had “horrific aims” and that one of its objectives was “the overthrow of democracy in this country by serious violence and murder, and the imposition of a Nazi-style state which would eradicate whole sections of society by such violence and mass murder.”
The judge continued: “If there was any room for misunderstanding then any member of the public need only watch the video shown in court,” adding that the promotional footage for National Action “would give a stark and rightly terrifying image of what life in this country would be like if your organization achieved its aims.
“The public have a right to know what you would wish to subject them to.”