A “cold and calculating” white supremacist A-level student who read Mein Kampf at the age of 10 or 11 has been given an extended prison sentence of seven years for sharing terrorism documents – including instructions on how to make bombs and weapons.
Malakai Wheeler, of Swindon, Wiltshire, was convicted by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of six charges, including possessing copies of the Terrorist Handbook, the Anarchist’s Handbook and a document called Homemade Detonators in early 2021.
The 18-year-old was also convicted of sharing 92 documents and 35 images in a chatroom, as well as two other charges of sharing instructions for the use of items that could be used to perform acts of terrorism, including smoke grenades.
The cache included manifestos by Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik and the Christchurch mosque killer Brenton Tarrant.
Judge Jane Miller KC told Wheeler: “In reality, you are a deeply entrenched racist and white supremacist with an extreme right-wing mindset with a sinister interest in violence and insurrection.
“Listening to your evidence was deeply disturbing and chilling particularly coming from a man who was just 16.
“I find you intended to encourage others to engage in terrorist activity.”
She added: “You came across as cold and calculating and you have no remorse as far as I can see.”
She said Wheeler poses an “obvious danger to the public” and added: “There is significant risk of you causing further harm by further offences.”
The judge said Wheeler will serve the first six years of his sentence in prison with the final year on licence.
She said Wheeler was brought up his father, who was “antisemitic and a holocaust denier”, and given a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which he began reading at the age of 10 or 11.
He was involved in discussions about a violent insurrection on internet forums and 100 videos were found on his phone which included “shootings, lynchings and executions”.
Wheeler told the court he had an interest in national socialism as well as anti-Zionism and admitted using a Nazi swastika as part of his profile image on the social media platform Telegram.
Giving evidence, he said he downloaded the documents because he wanted to create an archive of items he believed would be deleted from Telegram and the internet.
He said he viewed terrorist and other violent videos out of “morbid curiosity”.
He accepted being photographed in a skull mask and doing a Nazi salute but denied being a white supremacist.
Abigail Bright, defending, said Wheeler had a “lack of maturity” and had shown signs of a “really serious prospect of an early rehabilitation”.
She added: “The defendant had a reckless rather than any other state of mind.”
Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Although only 16 at the time of his arrest, Wheeler was deeply entrenched in a Telegram chat group committed to extreme right-wing ideology.
“He was not simply curious or a passive observer within the group. He clearly shared the same mindset as other members and was very active when it came to promoting racist and antisemitic views and propaganda.
“It is important young people recognise the potential impact of their online activity, before they cross a line into criminality or engage in harmful or dangerous behaviours.”
Nick Price, head of the CPS special crime and counter terrorism division, said: “Malakai Wheeler was a highly active member of an extreme right-wing online chat group, whose discussions were far from idle conversation.
“The content Wheeler shared was racist, antisemitic and included information on how to create weapons and explosives.
“His conviction and sentence should send a clear message to anyone engaging in such activity that the CPS and police will work together wherever there is evidence of a crime to bring offenders to justice.”