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West Yorks detention officer convicted of terror offence after UDA posts

The officer pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court today.

A police detention officer has been convicted of a terror offence after he published images showing his apparent support of a Northern Ireland paramilitary group.

William Lloyd-Hughes, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London to publishing an image of two flags on September 11, 2022 “in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that you were a member or supporter of” the banned loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA) terror group.

He also pleaded guilty to a charge under the Communications Act of sharing grossly offensive messages on Twitter on August 27, 2022.

Two further charges of sending grossly offensive messages on Twitter were withdrawn by prosecutors following his guilty pleas.

Lloyd-Hughes, 26, was based at Huddersfield Police Station.

He told Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring today that he is on a “plethora of medication” because he suffers from cystic fibrosis.

The court was told he was of previous good character.

The IOPC said earlier this week that the charges followed an investigation it directed carried out by Counter Terrorism Policing North East following a mandatory referral from the force last September.

Lloyd-Hughes is currently suspended.

The judge said: “As you have pleaded guilty to the two charges, the other two have been withdrawn, in due course you will get full credit for those guilty pleas.

“I need a pre-sentencing report because I know almost nothing about you, about your mindset, about your lifestyle and all the things that might be relevant.

“I’m going to release you on unconditional bail.”

Sentencing is due to take place on April 19.

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