Man who posted right-wing messages jailed for having book banned under terror legislation


A former Chadderton resident who was found in possession of a book banned under terrorist legislation has been jailed.

Police raided the home of Oliver Bel in November 2019 and he drew their attention to the Anarchist Cookbook, which contains instructions on how to make weapons and explosives.

He had gone on trail in relation to the offence, claiming he had a defence of reasonable excuse as the book was for academic interest.

But the jury was shown extensive social media posts of the 24-year-old, which showed his connections with the far right.

He said Jews were “engaged in nepotism” and that “extermination” was the best policy.

He also made multiple reference to wanting to go on a “spree” and invoked Eliot Rodgers who filmed his killings in California in 2014.

The jury also heard Bel was visited by the Prevent programme while he was studying maths at Cambridge University.

When questioned about his views by police he said he was a “white preservationist” and wished no harm to anybody and was not an “extremist.”

But the jury rejected his claims and found him guilty.

He appeared at Manchester Crown Court Crown Square to be sentenced.

Representing him, defence counsel Abigail Bright suggested he could be dealt with without having to go to prison.

She said: “He can be rehabilitated at the earliest opportunity.

“His attitude to the authorities, the police, I think is fairly characterised as receptive.”

She said he had engaged with Prevent when they met him at university and later at his home.

She added: “It is my respectful submission that a community order is appropriate.”

But Judge Alan Conrad QC disagreed with this, but made clear he was not jailing Bel for holding extreme views.

He said: “You knew the nature of the book – as evidenced by what you said to the police when it was seized and you had been warned about such material.

“A great deal of evidence showed your extreme right wing mindset , in terms of your communications and alliances with others of similar mind.

“Your pronouncements were abhorrent to all right-thinking people , as were the vile images that you kept on your mobile telephone.

“I emphasise that I am not punishing you for your political views, which, however repellent, were views that you are entitled to hold, provided that the line into criminality is not crossed.

“I observe however that it is profoundly dispiriting to see a young man such as yourself, blessed with high intelligence, whose heart is filled with so much hatred for all manner of people who have done you no harm and who pose no threat to you.”

He also noted that probation had accessed Bel as being a “high risk of serious harm to the public.”

He jailed Bel, formerly of Ferneyfield Road in Chadderton and now of Eccles Old Road in Salford, for two years and applied an extended licence period of one year.

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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