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‘Neo-Nazi’ named after reporter wins first-ever court battle

David HannantA regional daily journalist has won his first-ever court restrictions fight to name a “neo-Nazi” convicted of terror offences.

The Eastern Daily Press has been able to reveal the full identity of Sejr Forster thanks to a challenge by health and education correspondent David Hannant.

David, pictured, was assigned to Forster’s trial at the Old Bailey, in London, while the EDP’s crime reporter Pete Walsh was covering cases in Norwich.

At the start of the trial, a court order had been issued ruling the defendant could only be reported as “S Forster” – despite his full name having been revealed at preliminary hearings.

David noticed this and decided to challenge the order with help from Pete, as well as his copy of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.

He told HTFP: “We have a ridiculously good crime reporter, Pete Walsh, who was covering other cases in Norwich at the time, so I asked him about how to go about it and he gave me some great advice.

“He suggested I ask for a copy of the order and without that I wouldn’t have been able to confidently say the order wasn’t in place at the time of the preliminary hearing.

“I emailed the court ushers pointing out that his name had previously been reported during the preliminary hearings and a few other arguments which I near enough lifted word-for-word out of a copy of McNae’s.

“The order did seem a little unusual, as it only extended to his first name.

“I suspect if the order had been made during the preliminary hearings I wouldn’t have had much hope of overturning it.”

Forster, 25, was convicted of possessing material which could be useful to somebody preparing a terrorist attack.

During his trial, the court heard he had grown obsessed with the extreme right while as young as 13 – collecting Nazi memorabilia including images of Hitler, t-shirts emblazoned with Third Reich symbols and a ‘Hitler Youth knife’.

The Old Bailey was also told he had posed for photographs doing Nazi salutes on more than one occasion – including once in front of graffiti of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo.

A police raid had discovered a US Army Improvised Munitions Handbook and a mobile phone containing documents that included diagrams and instructions relating to bomb-building.

Forster, of Norwich, previously told the court that his arrest, in April 2022, had served as “a wake-up” call and he disposed of many of the objects.

He will be sentenced at a later date.