A young Nazi sympathiser who downloaded bomb-making instructions has been sentenced to read classic novels including 'Pride and Prejudice' instead.
Judge Timothy Spencer QC told 21-year-old Ben John, he could stay out of prison as long as he steered clear of white-supremacy literature and read books and plays by Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens.
The former De Montfort University student will have to return to court every four months to be tested on his reading by the judge after avoiding jail "by the skin of his teeth".
John had first been identified as a terror risk days after his 18th birthday and was referred to the Prevent programme but carried on downloading "repellant" right-wing documents as well as a manual which contained bomb-making instructions.
He also read about the Nazis and wrote a letter raging against gay people, immigrants and liberals.
On August 11 this year, he was found guilty by a jury of possessing information likely to be useful for preparing an act of terror. The court heard the conviction had a maximum jail sentence of 15 years.
But Judge Spencer concluded his crime was likely to be "an act of teenage folly" and an isolated incident.
He told John at the sentencing hearing today: "You are a lonely individual with few if any true friends."
He added John was "highly susceptible" to recruitment by others more prone to action but said: "I am not of the view that harm was likely to have been caused."
John was given a two-year jail sentence suspended for two years plus a further year on license, monitored by the probation service.
He was also given a five-year Serious Crime Prevention Order requiring him to stay in touch with the police and let them monitor his online activity and up to 30 days on a Healthy Identity Intervention programme.
Commenting on the sentence, Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands Detective Inspector James Manning, who led the investigation, said: “This was a young man who could be anyone’s son, studying at university, and living one life in public, while conducting another in private.
“He possessed a wealth of National Socialist and anti-Semitic material which indicated a fascination and belief in a white supremacist ideology along with support for an extreme satanic group which is increasingly of concern for law enforcement agencies."
Mr Manning added: "It was not light reading, or material most would concern themselves with for legitimate reasons. This has been a long and complex investigation over the course of 11 months.”
De Montfort University confirmed John was a criminology student when he was arrested but had been suspended with immediate effect on his arrest.