A Banbury father accused of being part of a banned far-right group said he posed in Ku Klux Klan robes out of ‘silliness’, a court heard today (Monday, October 29).
Adam Thomas, 22, of Waltham Gardens, also told a jury he made racist comments about Jews as a ‘sick joke’.
Thomas faces up to ten years in prison if he is found guilty of belonging to the banned terror group National Action.
He is on trial at Birmingham Crown Court with partner Claudia Patatas, 38, of the same address, and Daniel Bogunovic, 27, of Crown Hills Rise, Leicester.
Thomas is also accused of possessing terrorist material. The trio deny all the charges.
In reference to a comment he had made on the Telegram platform that the ‘highest title among white men is klansman’, he said: “I don’t believe that.
“That’s just something they used to say in the 1920s. I don’t agree with it, I thought it would be funny at the time.
“I wouldn’t wear the KKK robes that much, just when [another National Action member] was around. It was almost exclusively when he was there.
“The fact of the matter is in December 2017, I hadn’t been in contact with National Action members for getting on five or six months. I was out of that chat group, that was it.
“National Action was done for me. I never expected to hear about National Action ever again at this stage.
“I wish I hadn’t worn the KKK robes. It was just a bit of silliness.”
In reference to a picture of Thomas wearing KKK robes in the street, Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said: “It could be suggested you are spreading terror in a public place.”
Thomas replied: “Terrorism is a serious thing. This is not terrorism. This is just larking around.
“Just because you have pleaded guilty to being a member of a group doesn’t make you a terrorist.”
Thomas continued: “Getting involved in the far-right can devastate your life. It’s cost me the first year of my child’s life.
“It’s cost me my job, everything. If I could turn back the clock, I would. I don’t wish to push my mistakes on my own child.
“[Jo Cox MP’s killer] Thomas Mair was an idiot. He has thrown his own life away and caused problems for so many people - and what has he achieved? Nothing.”
In reference to another of his posts, he said: “It’s just idiocy. These have never been my views.
“It’s just a sick joke. It’s not something I would actually want to see happen.
“I wouldn’t want to see that violence or suffering carried out. It still doesn’t constitute a crime, however morally abhorrent it is.
“I met Claudia a month before Boxing Day, 2016. We shared an interest in making silly jokes but I don’t hate Jewish people.
“I don’t hate black people either. I might not be overly fond of multiculturalism but it’s not something I want to get into activism about.
“I worked for nearly six months in an Amazon warehouse, most people I worked with were non-white. None had a problem with me.”
In reference to online comments made by other members, Thomas said: “It is the usual idiocy. It’s these comments that got National Action banned in the first place.
“It’s not morally acceptable to post these comments, but it is not breaking the law to do it on a private chat group.
“I wouldn’t describe them as my true views. I wish I had never been involved in the far-right. If I could turn back the clock, I would.
“I don’t want to defend these comments.”
Photos seen by the jury show a man alleged to be Thomas in Klu Klux Klan robes, while another shows the pair with a Swastika flag.
Thomas was also found to have a cache of weapons, including machetes, an axe and crossbows - and carried out target practice in his back garden.
The trial continues.