Yorkshire members of 'fascist' terror cell found guilty of range of offences

Members of a “fascist” cell who made pistol parts on a 3D printer, encouraged terrorism and celebrated extreme right-wing attacks around the world have been found guilty of a range of offences.

Using a Telegram channel called Oaken Hearth, members exchanged terror manuals, shared racist ideology, and posted videos of atrocities including the Christchurch mosque mass murder, a two-month-long trial has heard.

On Tuesday (Mar 29), Daniel Wright, 29, of Whinfield Avenue, Keighley, was found guilty of disseminating a terrorist publication, possessing articles for terrorist purposes, and the collection of information contrary to the Terrorism Act.

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He was also found guilty of possessing and manufacturing a firearm.

The trial was held at Doncaster Crown CourtThe trial was held at Doncaster Crown Court
The trial was held at Doncaster Crown Court

His friend Liam Hall, 31, of Hill Top Walk, Keighley, was cleared of possessing articles for terrorist purposes but found guilty of possessing and manufacturing a firearm.

Hall’s partner Stacey Salmon, 29, of the same address, was also cleared of possessing articles for terrorist purposes but found guilty of possessing a firearm.

Samuel Whibley, 29, of Derwen Deg, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, was found guilty of the encouragement of terrorism, and disseminating a terrorist publication.

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The judge, Mr Justice Spencer, told Doncaster Crown Court – to where the jury moved due to problems at Sheffield Crown Court, where the trial was held – that the four defendants would be sentenced at a later date.

He said he hoped to sentence all four before the end of May but reports needed to be prepared about Wright and Whibley to help him assess their dangerousness.

“There needs to be a lot of thought given over to the sentences in this case,” the judge said.

When the trial began in January, Annabel Darlow QC, prosecuting, said the defendants were members of an “extreme fascist” cell during the first four months of 2021.

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She said the cell “embraced extreme right-wing propaganda and celebrated racist violence and killing” and the defendants demonstrated an active interest in the manufacture of explosives and weaponry.

Ms Darlow said: “They sought out the means and technical information required to manufacture firearms at home, using 3D printers to print plastic parts which could then be assembled together with metal components, with the intention of creating functional and lethal firearms.”

She said a huge number of terror manuals, many of which contained instructions on the manufacture of weapons including explosives, were exchanged within the group.

Police linked Wright, Hall, and Salmon to firearm parts that were later recovered, while Whibley researched and posted details online on how to make a pistol, the court was told.

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Whibley, a student, set up the Oaken Hearth Telegram channel in January 2021, with a private chat function available to those who passed a series of questions proving they were far-right sympathisers.

Ms Darlow said the contents of the channel’s chat expressed “abhorrently racist views and advocated the use of extreme political violence”.

She added: “Despite it being apparent that certain users of the chat were children, this in no way deterred those involved from the process of radicalisation and the repeated provision of detailed information on matters including the manufacture of homemade firearms.

“Extreme right-wing terrorists who had committed acts of mass murder in the name of their twisted ideology, such as Timothy McVeigh, who committed the atrocity in Omaha, Anders Breivik who murdered scores of young people in Norway, and Brenton Tarrant, who shot over 50 worshippers in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, were actively celebrated by members and praised as ‘saints’.”