A man from Oldham who travelled to the Ukraine to fight against the government has been jailed.
Benjamin Stimson (16/07/75), of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to one terrorism offence under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, at an earlier hearing.
Today, Friday 14 July 2017, he appeared at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, and was sentenced to 5 years and 4 months in prison, plus one year extended licence.
The police investigation revealed that in August 2015 Stimson left his home in Oldham and travelled to Moscow, before he illegally entered Eastern Ukraine.
At that time, a conflict was taking place between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed militia and Stimson joined a frontline unit of the Russian-backed militia.
He returned to the UK in November 2015 and was arrested upon his arrival at Manchester Airport and police seized paramilitary clothing from Stimson.
In September 2016 he was charged and remanded into custody.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, Head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit said: “Stimson went over to the Ukraine with the intention of joining militia groups fighting against the Ukrainian government and the images of him holding a rifle and wearing military clothing are deeply concerning.
“This case demonstrates the complex work the Counter Terrorism Unit does to stop those who commit acts of terrorism, whether that is at home or abroad.
“He has been jailed for the role he played in a violent conflict and I hope his conviction will send a message to all those who are even considering joining conflicts.”
Any suspicious activity or behaviour can be reported to police via the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline by calling 0800 789 321. Extremist or terrorist content online can be reported at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism or via the Red STOP button.