back to top

Two British Soldiers Accused Of Being Part Of A Neo-Nazi Group Have Appeared In Court

The serving soldiers and one civilian were charged with offences under the Terrorism Act and appeared at Westminster magistrates' court on Tuesday morning.

Posted on

Three men, including two serving British soldiers, appeared in court on Tuesday morning accused of being members of a banned neo-Nazi group.

All three were charged with being members of National Action, which was banned by home secretary Amber Rudd in December last year. It is the first far-right group to become a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK since 1940.

The men are among a group of five people arrested as part of a pre-planned West Midlands police operation on 5 September. Two men were subsequently released without charge.

Part of a police convoy arriving at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Three men will appear later accused of being me… https://t.co/izPhtyriKv

The men facing charges include Private Mark Barrett, 24, who is based at the army's Dhekelia Garrison in Cyprus. He is charged with being a member of a proscribed terrorist group.

Lance Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen, 32, who is based at the Sennybridge army training base in Brecon, Wales, is charged with possessing a document likely to be useful to someone preparing an act of terrorism, two counts of stirring up racial hatred through writing comments on a website, possession of pepper spray, and being a member of a proscribed terrorist group.

Alexander Deakin, 22, from Birmingham, is charged with two counts of possessing documents likely to be useful in the preparation of a terrorist act; the distribution of a terrorist publication; one count of inciting racial hatred, for allegedly posting National Action stickers around Aston University in Birmingham in July 2016; and being a member of a proscribed terrorist group.

All three are due to appear at the Old Bailey in London on 21 September.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.