Ben Styles, 25 from Leamington Spa, was found not guilty of preparing an act of terrorism but was convicted of possessing material that could be used for terrorism purposes and for possessing a prohibited weapon.
Mr Styles was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Mr Styles posted in an online group called “#Kill All the Jews”, and had begun building a submachine gun to use against Jewish people. He reportedly referred to the Holocaust as a ‘Holohoax’, and posted in the online group: “I hope the Holocaust is real next time.”
Prosecutors said that Mr Styles told his friend that he was “just getting as strong as possible for the war” and sent screenshots of his phone which used images of swastikas for the background.
Referring to his phone’s background image, Mr Styles reportedly told his friend: “Waking up and seeing this lock screen to start my day is far more important than some non-person NHS clapper shouting at me about primary school history.”
Mr Styles reportedly said of the New Zealand Christchurch terrorist attack: “I just got back from New Zealand – it made me super racist. Then that happened and I had a good day.”
Prosecutor Matthew Brook told the court that a Nazi fitness manual and a book titled “The SS family yearly – celebrations of the SS family” was found in Mr Styles’ garage, along with the lower part and top part of a homemade submachine gun and shop-bought blanks with manuals which “showed the reader how to convert blank bullets into functioning live ammunition”.
Mr Brook continued: “In this case, the evidence will prove that the defendant, Ben Styles, fully believed in extreme right-wing ideology. That is the twisted ideology of Nazis and white supremacy.”
Detective Superintendent Anastasia Miller, from Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “Styles was making a submachine gun and ammunition, he also knowingly downloaded and possessed extremely distressing and disturbing imagery. We will continue to protect local communities by working with partners and the CPS to pursue and prosecute all those who show support for terrorism.
“We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.
Image credit: West Midlands Police