Nazi Sympathiser Caught With Bomb-Making Instructions Ordered To Read Classic Novels Instead Of Prison
2 Sep 2021
Instead of being put behind bars for up to 15 years, a UK judge has ruled that 21-year-old Nazi sympathiser Ben John should instead read classic novels.
Found guilty of possessing information likely to be useful for preparing an act of terror, Judge Timothy Spencer QC told the defendant he had avoided prison “by the skin of his teeth” as he gave him a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years, plus a further year on licence.
The former criminology student at De Montfort University in Leicester, downloaded almost 70,000 white supremacist documents alongside bomb-making instructions.
John was also told he has to return to court every four months to be tested on his reading.
The judge then asked him: “Have you read Dickens? Austen? Start with Pride and Prejudice and Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Think about Hardy. Think about Trollope,”
“On January 4 you will tell me what you have read and I will test you on it. I will test you and if I think you are [lying to] me you will suffer,”
“I will be watching you, Ben John, every step of the way. If you let me down, you know what will happen.”
John from Lincoln, was first identified as a terror risk days after he turned 18, a few months later writing a letter to his school claiming to be part of ‘The Lincoln Fascist Underground’ and attacking homosexual people, immigrants and liberals.
Despite his history of “worrying right-wing literature and imagery”, Judge Spencer chalked up John’s behaviour to “an act of teenage folly”.