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‘Neo-Nazi leader’ claims he was pressured by girlfriend into posing with swastika flags

The alleged leader of two banned neo-Nazi groups has claimed he was “pressurised” into posing with swastika flags by his girlfriend.

Andrew Dymock, 24, from Bath, told a jury at the Old Bailey that he was not an extremist and had been framed by his former girlfriend.

But the jury was shown a series of images taken on the top floor of an abandoned building in Woolwich, South London.

Giving evidence in his defence, Dymock claimed that his then girlfriend handed him neo-Nazi skull masks and “was pressurising me to take pictures in them”, adding: “I don’t remember the swastika being there”.

He claimed he was affected by taking codeine at the time and added: “I was pressured into this, I am genuinely sorry. It isn’t indicative of any mindset, the complete opposite.”

Dymock claimed it was his girlfriend at the time who had founded one of the groups, rather than him, and that it was her who had the Nazi mindset.

She had “clearly wanted some kind of photoshoot” after she launched a group called Sonnenkrieg Division because she had been kicked out of another group called System Resistance Network, he said.

“She was the one who orchestrated all of this, it was her idea, she wanted me holding it, probably to use against me to wrongly insinuate a Nazi mindset,” he said.

In videos of the event, it was possible to hear Dymock’s girlfriend giving instructions and she took “almost every single picture, literally directing,” he said.

Posing in front of neo-Nazi graffiti, Dymock told the jury: “She was taking the picture. I wasn’t paying attention to what was behind me.”

He claimed he was performing a “Greco-Roman salute” rather than a Nazi salute in front of graffiti that read “smoke meth” – an allusion to the slogan “smoke meth and hail Satan”.

“It’s just a stupid humorous thing I found funny at the time,” Dymock said. “I was just taking the p*** about the whole Nazi thing.”

Dymock blamed “peer pressure” and said “obviously these pictures are extremely bad for me”.

“This is a huge mistake and I am genuinely sorry. I know it can be interpretated [sic],” he added.

“At the time I was a bit intoxicated and I was peer pressured into this. Obviously I still did it and I have to bear responsibility. We all make stupid mistakes when were young, it is what it is.”

For his birthday that year he went to a steakhouse with his girlfriend and she gave him a CD by an “anarchist black metal band” called Peste Noir and a birthday card with the slogan: Read Siege by James Mason – a book by a US neo-Nazi.

“It is an internet meme online, I did bust out laughing when I saw it,” he said.

“And there were some polaroid pictures she had done of us hanging out.”

Dymock claimed he was planning a road trip to America and was intending to split up with his girlfriend when he was arrested at Gatwick Airport.

Prosecutors say he was planning to go to see James Mason in America and was taking two copies of his book, Theocrat, to get them signed.

But Dymock claimed that his rucksack, which had a rainbow strap, showing gay solidarity, was taken off by “plain clothed people” when he was arrested and additional right-wing books and right-wing t-shirts placed in it.

“There are a large number of plain clothed people, I don’t know if they are police or not – these are the people who went off with my property. My bags were taken off by these unknown men,” he told the jury.

He admitted having a skull balaclava and combat boots but claimed they were for his “pagan Airsoft team”, a kind of paintballing.

A number of neo-Nazi flags were because “the other people I was playing Airsoft with, it is customary to trade flags and things.”

Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, asked Dymock: “You are not and never have been a neo-Nazi? You don’t have any extremist beliefs? The documents you have are either for research or because you were deliberately set up?”

“Correct,” Dymock said.

“You don’t hold racist beliefs, anti-Semitic and homophobic beliefs? You don’t venerate ultra-nationalism, Nazi Germany, or James Mason? You don’t advocate any collapse of the system or accelerating societal collapse through war and violence?”

“No,” Dymock said.

“I am going to suggest all that is a lie,” Ms Ledward said.

The prosecutor referred to a conversation between Dymock and his girlfriend on 27 March2018 in which he said: “God I am so sick of seeing n*****s”.

Dymock told the jury: “This is utterly irrelevant in relation to terrorism charges, it is simply a conversation between two people. It is not indicative of racist views, I am not racist.

“It is just two people saying dumb stuff to each other. This is all just s**t posting with my neo-Nazi girlfriend. I didn’t agree with her views and used to constantly mock her for them.”

The trial was taken to Google searches as early as February 2014, when Dymock was 17, in which he looked on Google Translate for the German for “kill all the Jews.”

Dymock denies charges of encouraging terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications, possessing a terrorist document, funding terrorism, stirring up racial hatred and hatred based on sexual orientation, and possessing racially inflammatory material.

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