Oliver Riley, nineteen from Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in July on terrorism charges.
Mr Riley was convicted of three counts of possession of a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and of sending a message that was grossly offensive.
He was also convicted of providing a service to others that enables them to obtain, read, listen to, or look at such a publication and intended, or was reckless, as to whether an effect of his conduct would be a direct or indirect encouragement, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Tom Williams, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey on Friday that Mr Riley had begun pursuing an interest in extremist videos as a teenager, and that he was sixteen or seventeen years old at the time of the offences.
Following Mr Riley’s arrest, police officers conducted a search of his room, during which they discovered that he had uploaded 23 videos to BitChute, an online platform often favoured by members of the far-right. The videos were described as “racist, homophobic, glorify[ing] Nazism and terrorist attacks” by the prosecution.
WhatsApp messages between Mr Riley and his girlfriend were also revealed.
In one, the defendant had sent a meme said to have perpetuated Holocaust-denial. In another, he said: “Sometimes I want to die, kill myself, go to war or something, I sometimes want to kill people and rape people because I am so angry.”
Ed Henry KC said that Mr Riley was a “product of chronic sense of under-achievement and chronic sense of anxiety” and described him as having traits of being on the autism spectrum.
Mr Henry said: “He made a series of calamitous errors of judgment, mistakes. He hardly plays the role of being a terrorist in the dock of the Central Criminal Court.”
Quoting Mr Riley’s own explanation, Mr Henry said: “Instead of being a person, instead of having an identity, I spent my day doing nothing productive, just s***-posting and being lonely.”
Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, sentencing, acknowledged the videos as “racist, antisemitic and homophobic” but further noted that Mr Riley felt “genuine remorse” for his actions.
Mr Riley was sentenced to a three-year community order that involves him having to complete a rehabilitation activity for 60 days, 200 hours of unpaid work, and not delete his digital history for three years.
Nick Price, Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “It was criminally reckless for Oliver Riley to post this racist and extremist material online for others to view. By his actions others were being encouraged to assist or engage in terrorist activity. We carefully considered his age and learning difficulties before bringing these charges but concluded a prosecution should be brought. The CPS takes all cases involving hate crime extremely seriously and will continue to prosecute those who pose a threat to our society.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: “Our investigation uncovered videos in Riley’s possession, the content of which supported white supremacy and hatred; he chose to share the material with others, promoting and glorifying these abhorrent views. I now hope that he takes the opportunity he has to get whatever help he needs to understand how dangerous and harmful this kind of material is.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism closely monitors the far-right, which remains a dangerous threat to the Jewish community and other minority groups.