Oldham man jailed for Ukraine terror offence
A British man who travelled to Ukraine to join anti-government fighters has been jailed.
Benjamin Stimson, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to an offence under UK terrorism laws.
The 41-year-old, who is the first Briton involved in the Ukrainian conflict to have faced charges, travelled out in 2015 to join pro-Russian rebels.
He was jailed for five years and four months at Manchester Crown Court.
Stimson, who went to the conflict zone in the Donbass region, admitted intending to commit acts of terrorism and engaging in their preparation.
Dominic Casciani, BBC Home Affairs Correspondent
Benjamin Stimson's case is unusual - but it's really important because his conviction and jailing illustrates that terrorism legislation is not focused on offenders from one community who turn to violent extremism for one cause.
The fighter pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism. Prosecutors have turned successfully to this offence time and again to prosecute British men who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq - or tried to do so.
Stimson's destination was of course different - but the offence was the same because of the British legal definition of terrorism.
Under our law, an act of terrorism, put most briefly, means resorting to violence, or its threat, to influence a government or people for an ideological cause.
Stimson's decision to support a militia attacking a legitimate government therefore fell foul of the law. And that's why he's going to prison with a terrorism legislation criminal record.
To put Mr. Casciani's remarks in short format, Benjamin Stimson is the Great White (and Christian) Defendant.