National Action trial

Members of banned far right group National Action ‘attended terrorist style training camps’

Members of banned far right group National Action attended terrorist style training camps to learn judo, kickboxing and mixed martial arts street fighting, a court heard.

Matthew Hankinson, 24, Christopher Lythgoe, 32, and other white supremacists were featured in propaganda videos learning punching techniques, judo and choke holds at camps in Derbyshire and the Brecon Beacons, the Old Bailey was told.

The videos, seen by jurors, showed members sparring in boxing gloves, wrestling, jumping and rolling over cardboard boxes and throwing each other onto floor mats in judo style modes.

Videos were allegedly posted on the National Action website in an attempt to recruit young people in preparation for a “violent race war which the group will play an active part in”.

Jack Renshaw, 23, Andrew Clarke, 33, Michal Trubini, 26 and Garron Helm, 25, all allegedly featured in other videos where members gave ‘sieg heil’ salutes as they marched through northern cities including Liverpool, Newcastle and Rochdale.

Police Constable Matthew Fletcher, who specialises in right wing extremism, said: “Training in the early periods of National Action was done by an outside group, the Western Spring, and a group set up by the name of Sigurd, that was run by a gentleman named James Fraser.

“The first training camp that National Action attended was in August 2014, that was the Culture Camp in the Brecon Beacons.

“There was a winter camp that took place in 2015 and that was in Derbyshire.

“National Action then moved away from attending Sigurd and Western Spring camps as a group and part of the recruitment plan in 2016 was to sought out new members who could provide training, to look for training instructors.

“This was a cost effective training measure because they could not afford Sigurd or Western Spring.”

During a demo in Newcastle Hankinson appeared on video to rant to followers and urge for anti-fascists to be “hung from lampposts” to save “white children” before making ‘sieg heil’ salutes, the court heard.

He was surrounded by masked National Action members waving black flags, shouting hate messages, the curt was told.

Other videos before the jury saw the defendants screaming at passing traffic at their first ‘banner drop’ in Birmingham with a slogan “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” backed with punk and dance music.

As the videos were shown all six defendants watched intently before exchanged knowing looks and smiles in the dock.

At a march in Rochdale city centre Andrew Clarke was screamed through a megaphone: “We have been taken over by illegal aliens, our country is being taken over.

“If we do not stand up and fight we are going to lose it.

“If we do not fight for our children we will lose our children and our children’s children will pay the price.”

After the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, the group posted on Twitter “only 649 MPs to go” and in another post on June 16 published a photo of Thomas Mair with the caption “do not let this man’s sacrifice go in vain. Jo Cox would have filled Yorkshire with more subhumans.”

The banned group, which was formed in late 2013, allegedly had branches in Scotland, North East, Yorkshire, Midlands, South West, London and East London.

The trial continues.

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