Mother of Convicted British Neo-Nazi: ‘I Want Other Parents to Realize This Could Happen to Their Children Too’
The mother of a young British man who was convicted of being a member of an outlawed neo-Nazi group warned, “I want other parents to realize this could happen to their children too.”
Speaking to the UK newspaper the Daily Mirror, the woman named only as Katherine painted a picture of an intelligent and sensitive young man who, after a series of personal traumas, embraced extremism.
She said her son was an excellent student considering a career in computers or engineering when his life began to spiral in 2015 after his parents divorced, his girlfriend left him, and he was robbed.
These experiences, especially the robbery, sent him on a search for an outlet to vent his frustrations.
“He couldn’t understand why the robber wasn’t arrested and began looking at websites talking about patriotism and immigration,” Katherine told the newspaper.
While at first intrigued by more mainstream right-wing movements like UK Independence Party, her son came to feel they “weren’t achieving anything through official channels.”
Within a year, Katherine’s son had joined National Action, an illegal neo-Nazi group that was banned after it supported the assassination of MP Jo Cox in 2016, who was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist with neo-Nazi connections.
Shortly after, Katherine found that her son had hung a Nazi flag in his room.
She attempted to get the police involved, but they were initially unable to take action. In 2017, however, her son was arrested for distributing hate materials. The experience apparently woke him up, and he disavowed his former beliefs after receiving a one-year suspended sentence.
He was rearrested almost immediately, however, for his membership in National Action, and was given a four-and-a-half-year sentence.
At his trial, he told the judge, “I’ve turned my back on the far-right.”
Katherine sees her son’s story as a cautionary tale, saying, “My son was vulnerable when he got involved with the far-right. I want other parents to realize this could happen to their children too.”
“My son’s first arrest knocked sense into him, but it was too late,” she explained. “My advice to anyone who suspects their child may be going down his route is to get help as early as possible.”
“He’s so remorseful and wants to get out and get on with his life,” Katherine said. “He knows what he did was wrong and feels National Action lied to him.”