Teenage neo-Nazi who plotted to shoot Asian friend for having sex with white girls jailed for 11 years

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Matthew Cronjager, 18, tried to get hold of a 3D printed gun or a sawn-off shotgun to kill his target, who he likened to a "cockroach" - iStockphoto
Matthew Cronjager, 18, tried to get hold of a 3D printed gun or a sawn-off shotgun to kill his target, who he likened to a "cockroach" - iStockphoto

A teenage neo-Nazi who plotted to shoot an Asian friend because he slept with "white chicks" has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Matthew Cronjager, 18, tried to get hold of a 3D printed gun or a sawn-off shotgun to kill his target, whom he likened to a "cockroach".

He set himself up as the "boss" of a Right-wing terror cell and created an online library to share Right-wing propaganda and explosives-making manuals.

Cronjager's plans were scuppered by an undercover police officer who had infiltrated a Telegram group called The British Hand.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Cronjager was found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications on Telegram.

He had admitted four charges of possessing terror documents on the first day of his trial.

On Tuesday, the defendant, of Ingatestone in Essex, was sentenced to a total of 11 years and four months in youth detention.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC said Cronjager was a "bright and intelligent" man, which made his offending "all the more troubling". He said Cronjager had "played a leading role in terrorist activity".

Extremist ‘had exchanged Christmas cards’ with intended victim

In a victim impact statement, Cronjager's victim said he felt "sad, hurt and betrayed".

He said: "When I first got told the news by the CT police, I just brushed it off that Matt must have been joking about.

"The next day when the police came back to see me and said that there had not been a mistake and Matt had said those things, and to be honest at that moment of realisation it broke my heart.

"The strange thing was it wasn't just the fact that Matt was plotting to kill me that hurt initially, it was the fact that we had been having serious conversations about our future, and we had been exchanging Christmas greetings, meanwhile in the background he was planning to make that my last Christmas, that really hurt."

The victim was left "simmering with anger" towards Cronjager and "on the brink of self harm", the court was told.

In mitigation, lawyer Tim Forte said Cronjager "bitterly regrets" the harm he had caused and offered an apology.

Mr Forte argued that "young" and "immature" Cronjager could yet be integrated into society.

The court had previously heard how the defendant wanted a "revolution" based on his fascist beliefs, including hatred of non-white people, Jews, Muslims and those with a different sexual orientation to his.

Offer to take leadership role in far-Right group

He had offered to lead the UK division of an extreme Right-wing group calling itself Exiled 393, telling members that his time as an army cadet had given him the necessary skills.

In November last year, Cronjager suggested setting up a collective PayPal account to buy weapons and other items for the group.

In one message, he wrote: "I was thinking more of having it to buy things like big tents or a 3D printer maybe for creating bits of 'art"', said to be code for guns.

In further messages to the undercover officer on December 13, he and Cronjager discussed arranging a drop-off location for 3D printed guns, the court heard, and of the supplier needing more money to pay for materials.

On the same day, Cronjager formulated his plot to kill his former friend after he boasted to him of sleeping with three white women.

The defendant told the undercover officer: "I've found someone I want to execute," going on to call him a derogatory racist term and detailing how his target had sex with white girls.

"I figure we could just 'find' a double barrel shotgun and saw it down for things like this," he told the officer

Cronjager then added: "They're like cockroaches", the court heard.

On his arrest at his Essex home on December 29 last year, police seized a large amount of material demonstrating his commitment to an "extreme Right-wing cause", jurors heard.

Mr Forte said that Cronjager had created for himself a "superhero fantasy", but it was all "make believe".

The jury was told that the defendant was on the autism disorder spectrum, with a mild level of severity, and had a high IQ.

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