Alleged neo-Nazi chooses not to testify at his trial

A teenager who denies being a member of a banned neo-Nazi terror group has opted not to give evidence in his defence.

Connor Scothern, aged 18, is standing trial at Birmingham Crown Court alongside three other defendants who also deny being part of National Action after it was outlawed in December 2016.

Jurors have previously been told that Scothern, of Bagnall Avenue, Arnold, Nottingham, claims to have quit the group a day before it was made illegal.

The Crown claims Scothern was pictured giving a Nazi salute in a Nottingham cemetery in November 2016, and was “effectively an activist’s activist” following the ban on National Action.

In the seventh week of his trial, Scothern’s barrister, Gerard Hillman told the jury that the teenager would not be giving evidence to the court.

Trial judge Melbourne Inman QC then asked Mr Hillman if Scothern had been advised that the jury may draw such inferences as appear proper from his failure to testify.

Mr Hillman told the judge: “Yes, Mr Scothern has been advised.”

Closing addresses by prosecution and defence barristers will take place later this week after agreed facts are presented to the court on behalf of Scothern.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Barnaby Jameson QC said Scothern had previously practised Islam and also had an interest in communism, but eventually ended up linked to “all the key players” in National Action.

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