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Within a few days of serving on the frontline he indicated a desire to leave but did not make the arrangements until early November, said the barrister.
Mr Thomas added: 'He remains sympathetic to the plight of the local people but he saw the reality of the militia and what it was with the involvement of oligarchs and power and profit, and he left.'The defendant does not hold extremist views.
He said: 'It's plain, and the court accepted, that Ben went out there for humanitarian reasons to drive an ambulance.'And the court also accepted that Ben is no danger to society, so I'm reeling from that.
The defendant showed a particular interest in 'the Army of Novorussia' and later successfully applied for a Russian visa, said Mr Jamieson.
The defendant returned to the UK on November 23 2015 and was arrested at Manchester Airport on suspicion of terrorism offences.
In his luggage was found various items of military clothing including some which displayed the would-be flag of Novorussia, the court was told.
An unemployed Briton who joined pro-Russian militia forces fighting against Ukrainian government soldiers has been jailed for five years and four months for a terrorism offence.
Benjamin Stimson, 41, who went to the conflict zone in the Donbass region, is the only UK citizen to have been prosecuted for assisting the anti-government militia in Ukraine.