Muslim girl who had relationship with neo-Nazi Met policeman told trial he was ‘well-mannered’

With her arms aloft and a look of pure joy on her face, this is the young Muslim woman who fell for neo-Nazi police officer Benjamin Hannam.

Shaima Madarbukus had a three-year relationship with Hannam – who was convicted last week of belonging to the banned far-Right terrorist group National Action – after they started dating when they were in the sixth form at Winchmore School in North London.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Ms Madarbukus, who moved to Britain from her native Mauritius as a six-year-old, appeared as a character witness at her former boyfriend’s trial, where she described him as ‘outgoing, courageous, educated and well-mannered’.

Ms Madarbukus, pictured appeared as a character witness at her former boyfriend's trail

Ms Madarbukus, pictured appeared as a character witness at her former boyfriend's trail

Ms Madarbukus, pictured appeared as a character witness at her former boyfriend’s trail 

She told the Old Bailey: ‘I would see him Monday to Friday at school break times and lunch, and we would walk home every day after school.

‘Weekends centred around our education, catching up on homework. I would not see him [then] mainly because I had no excuse to leave the house.’

The court heard that Ms Madarbukus tried to keep the relationship secret from her parents, but they found out and did not approve.

She grew up in a religiously observant household, although she no longer practises her faith and dresses in a Western manner.

The 22-year-old insisted that Hannam never made any racist remarks or spoke disrespectfully about Islam.

Denying that his persistent questioning of her faith led her to turn away from it, she said: ‘Leaving the religion was me. He would provide positive and negative.

‘He enlightened me about my religion and didn’t really deter me from my religion either.’

Unknown to his girlfriend, Hannam, also 22, from Enfield, North London, became a poster boy for National Action, a white supremacist group which celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a Right-wing extremist.

He appeared in propaganda videos, recruited members and attended training camps.

Despite his membership of the organisation, Hannam was able to join the Metropolitan Police and work for the force for two years.

Ben Hannam, 22, became the first British policeman to be convicted of terrorism this week after it was found he was once a member of banned white supremacist group National Action

Ben Hannam, 22, became the first British policeman to be convicted of terrorism this week after it was found he was once a member of banned white supremacist group National Action

Ben Hannam, 22, became the first British policeman to be convicted of terrorism this week after it was found he was once a member of banned white supremacist group National Action

The former constable, who pleaded guilty to separate charges of possessing child porn, has been told to expect a custodial sentence for his involvement with National Action.

Linda Hughes, Hannam’s former history teacher, told the trial that his A-level dissertation on Islam was so offensive and ‘intolerant’ that she refused to submit it for marking.

The court also heard that Hannam told a school counsellor that Ms Madarbukus’s parents ‘hated’ him, even though he learned verses from the Koran to impress them.

Hannam’s grandfather Peter Murphy, 72, who is gay, told the Old Bailey: ‘I have never known Ben to use any derogatory remarks about being gay.

‘In my opinion, it is wrong to suggest Ben is in any way racist or homophobic. Ben is anything but violent and intolerant.’

But the court heard police who raided Hannam’s home found antisemitic material, as well as the manifesto of Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, and images of Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 Muslims in a shooting spree in New Zealand in 2019. Hannam will be sentenced on April 23.

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