Mark Meechan's clip was viewed more than three million times on YouTube

Mark Meechan’s clip was viewed more than three million times on YouTube

A man who was fined for posting an online video of a dog carrying out Nazi salutes has failed in a bid to challenge his conviction.

Mark Meechan recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as “Sieg Heil” by raising its paw.

He was fined £800 at Airdrie Sheriff Court and had hoped to challenge the case at the highest court in the land.

But this has now been blocked by Scotland’s most senior judges.

Meechan, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, has raised more than £75,000 through an online appeal to help pay for the challenge.

The 31-year-old denied committing an offence under the Communications Act during a trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court last year but was found guilty of breaching it by posting the grossly offensive film.

He claimed that the video was only intended as a joke to upset his girlfriend.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll fined him £800 and a subsequent attempt by Meechan to challenge his conviction at the Sheriff Appeal Court, where the judges are senior sheriffs, failed after it was rejected in the initial sifting process.

Meechan’s lawyers then raised a petition seeking to have the High Court use its powers to allow an appeal to be taken to the UK Supreme Court in London.

But Scotland’s senior judge, the Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, sitting with the Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, and Lord Menzies rejected the move, saying they had no powers to allow any further appeal in the circumstances of the case.

‘Consequences have been immense’

Meechan had sought to pursue a human rights appeal including a claim under article 10 which covers freedom of expression.

His senior counsel, Dorothy Bain QC argued that the petition was competent and necessary to advance the challenge brought by Meechan.

She said: “The consequences of his conviction for this breach of the Communications Act have been immense for him both professionally and personally.”

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, for the Crown, counter argued that the Sheriff Appeal Court had exercised its powers in accordance with statute and called on the judges to refuse Meechan permission to appeal.

Meechan, who posts videos under the name Count Dankula, has a target of raising £100,000 to cover the cost of his appeal.

BBC News

Laura Heywood begged magistrates not to send her to custody but they were appalled by her ‘horrendous’ record

A woman who hurled racist abuse at takeaway staff and a police officer has been jailed despite begging magistrates to give her another chance.

Laura Heywood blamed her “abusive and controlling” boyfriend for the heavy drug abuse which led to her offending.

Appearing live via a video link from HMP New Hall, the 24-year-old pleaded with Kirklees magistrates not to hand her a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to a string of charges.

She told them: “I’m begging you to take this risk on me – please don’t send me to prison.”

But magistrates were unmoved to grant her request after hearing details of offences including her vile abuse of two takeaway workers – one a teenage boy- where she threw cans of drink at them.

The incident at Dixxi Express in Batley happened on May 4 last year.

Drunk Heywood was at the nearby bus station with a friend and they walked into the St James Street takeaway.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They were racially abusive to two staff members, describing them as ‘P**i b******s’.

“Cans were then thrown at both gentlemen, hitting them and the contents spilling all over their clothing.

“One of the staff members was 16 and shocked to be assaulted at his place of work as he’d never experienced anything like that before.

“The other victim said that he was angry and that it was an unprovoked attack and there was no reason why they’d been targeted.”

Police were called and caught Heywood and her friend trying to board a bus. Heywood was described as aggressive and refusing to leave the vehicle.

When she was finally put into the police van she directed racist abuse to a female officer during the journey, calling her a ‘black b****d’ and’ n****r’ and telling her: “You’d be used as a footstool.”

Mr Bozman said: “The officer found her attitude and insults rather vile and stated that nobody has the right or authority to aim abuse at her.”

Magistrates were told about another incident at Laurel Drive in Birstall on June 3.

The victim had parked her Ford Fiesta there to visit a friend when Heywood came out into the street carrying a bottle of fizzy drink.

She shouted: “Whose is this car?” and she replied that it belonged to her. Heywood responded: “I don’t give a f**k anyway, I’m going to put it through.” She then threw the bottle at the vehicle, causing a dent.

Heywood went on to damage a police vehicle on November 6 when they were responding to reports of a domestic incident at an address in Common Road in Batley.

As her boyfriend was arrested from the property she picked up an item and threw it at a marked police car, causing a dent in the vehicle.

Then on December 30 Heywood was caught stealing a bottle of wine from the Hanging Heaton Food Store.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated assault, racially-aggravated harassment, two counts of criminal damage, theft from a shop, being drunk and disorderly in public, three charges of failing to surrender to court and committing a further offence while subject to a conditional discharge.

Her solicitor Paul Blanchard described her as having a Jekyll and Hyde personality, adding that alcohol she consumed at the time of the offences would have clouded her judgement.

He explained: “The background to her most recent offending is combined with a relationship she has formed and during the relationship she has become involved in the consumption of Class A drugs.

“She’s made some ridiculously bad decisions and doesn’t deal with situations well.

“She hasn’t dealt with her child being adopted and resorted to the consumption of alcohol to block out the reality of situations.

“She’s a lovely, lovely person but has got her demons which unfortunately at times come to the top.

“Something has to change but the only person who can change is Laura Heywood.”

Heywood read a letter to the court in which she pleaded with magistrates not to jail her.

She said: “I know I need to grow up and sort my life out. I just need some support.

“I’ve now got out of my controlling and violent relationship and I’m begging you to take this risk on me.

“I know I’ve got a long, hard journey but I know I can do it. Please let me prove you wrong and make my family proud.”

But bench chairwoman Kathryn Beney slammed her ‘horrendous record’ and said she and her colleagues felt that custody was their only option.

They jailed Heywood, of Laurel Drive in Batley, for a total of 24 weeks.

Upon her release she will have to pay £100 to both of the takeaway employees she assaulted and abused.

Huddersfield Examiner

Racist assault: Mark Brown

Convicted: Mark Brown.

The former leader of the National Front in Northern Ireland has been convicted of a “vile” racist attack on a taxi driver in Co Antrim.

Mark Brown (31), of Skerryview in Craigahullier near Portrush, was also found guilty of not paying an £18.40 taxi fare.

Brown had contested the charges but was convicted at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill said it was a “racially-motivated” offence and the defendant had “clearly expressed vile racist comments” regarding taxi driver Ricardo Alavijeh (56).

Mr Alavijeh, who is understood to be originally from the Middle East, told the court Brown punched him on the head in his car, but because he was wearing a cap he wasn’t seriously injured. He said he drove up the road to phone the police and noticed Brown “running after me”.

“I was very worried, I was panicking,” he said.

He told the court Brown was also “being racist towards me”.

The taxi driver said he had initially received a call under a different name and wasn’t at first aware it was Brown.

Brown’s barrister claimed the driver “decided to make trouble” for Brown by falsely accusing him of assault and not paying the fare. The lawyer said Brown had tried to pay the taxi fare.

Mr Alavijeh told the court: “As a taxi driver dealing with drunk people and people under the influence of drugs there are a lot of incidents of racial abuse in Coleraine. I don’t even bother phoning the police unless it is serious.”

Statements from police officers said that when arrested, Brown made several remarks including references to “Muslim c***”, “jihadi bombing b******s” and “dirty Paki b******”.

Brown claimed the driver had a “grudge” against him and the allegation that he punched Mr Alavijeh was “a tissue of lies”.

He told the court that he had ordered a taxi to take him from his partner’s home, where he drank two bottles of wine, to his parents’ home. When he realised the driver was Mr Alavijeh he wasn’t going to use the taxi, but was told to get in.

Brown claimed he had got out of the car intending to pay with a £20 note, but the taxi driver then drove off.

Brown admitted he had made remarks to police and said it was because he was “agitated and frustrated” at being arrested.

He told the court he had no exact memory of what he had said to police and added: “I apologise for the nature of the words.”

The court heard Brown had been convicted in 2009 of similar offences against Mr Alavijeh.

Convicting the defendant of the 2018 offences, Judge Magill said that having seen and heard from both men in court he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of Brown’s guilt.

The judge said he did not believe Mr Alavijeh would make up a false account for no reason which he would then have to tell to police and a court.

Judge Magill said Brown had “clearly expressed vile racist comments”. He said it was a “racially motivated offence”. He said he needed a pre-sentence report on Brown and adjourned sentencing until February.

Belfast Telegraph

Restaurant owner William Eve denies abuse was religiously aggravated

A Tommy Robinson supporter has admitted verbally abusing a journalist at a protest and accusing her of being “Muslim-backed”.

William Eve, a restaurant owner from north-east London, was caught on camera insulting a female reporter and demanding to know whether she was “with or against” the English Defence League (EDL) founder.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the 57-year-old shouted at Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego during a “Free Tommy” protest that merged with a pro-Donald Trump rally in July.

Prosecutor Robert Simpson said: “The complainant is someone who is a reporter for Al Jazeera. She was conducting interviews and recording them.

“She was approached by the defendant, asked who she was, he found out and made the comment ‘so you’re Muslim-backed’. He went on to say she was stupid and call her a slag.”

Eve was filmed demanding to know who Ms Gallego worked for and asking: “Are you with Tommy Robinson or against him?”

The journalist said she was not taking any sides in her reporting but Eve accused her of being “Muslim-backed” and called her “f***ing stupid” when she asked what he meant.

Mr Simpson said he also “jabbed a finger towards” Ms Gallego, who recorded the incident in central London.

Eve, of Adnams walk in Rainham, admitted one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress on 14 July.

But he pleaded not guilty to a second count alleging that the harassment was religiously aggravated and is due to go on trial next month.

Deputy district judge Jim Astle released Eve on bail until his trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court on 21 February.

Eve made no comment as he left the court, with a hat pulled over his face.

Police said Robinson supporters at the rally physically attacked officers and hurled racial abuse, while a group also blocked a bus driven by a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf.

Ukip leader Gerard Batten, who has since hired Robinson as an adviser, and anti-Islam politicians from the US, Sweden and Belgium spoke at the event.

It was one of several protests held over the imprisonment of Robinson, who was jailed for allegedly committing contempt of court at a grooming gang trial in May.

The anti-Islam activist, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was released in April after the Court of Appeal overturned the findings because of procedural failings.

Judges ordered a rehearing and the case has been referred to the attorney general for consideration on how it will proceed.

The Independent

A vandal who scrawled antisemitic and neo-Nazi symbols on an MSP’s office window has been jailed for more than two years.

James Malcolm, 18, used red paint to draw symbols including a Star of David on a gallows at Rona Mackay’s office in Kirkintilloch.

He later caused £14,000 of damage to 27 headstones at a cemetery. A swastika symbol scribbled on broken glass was found at one of them. During a two-month crime spree Malcolm also vandalised a nature reserve and several parks in Kirkintilloch and used his own blood to write offensive slogans on the wall of a police cell.

Malcolm pleaded guilty at Glasgow sheriff court to four charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, one charge of maliciously damaging headstones and writing offensive slogans on a cell between June 1 and August 9 last year. Sheriff Alan MacKenzie sentenced him to two years and four months in prison.

The court was told that a member of the public spotted graffiti on a glass notice board at Lenzie Moss nature reserve on July 17. Nazi slogans and symbols were scrawled in blue paint and “James M” was scratched on a sign.

On July 23 Malcolm graffitied in red paint on a bridge above the path leading to Luggie Park. Days later a dog walker saw “Adolf Hitler” and “white power” among other phrases. Mark Allan, the procurator fiscal depute, said: “She was offended and appalled by what she saw, in particular a picture of the Star of David on a hangman’s noose.”

On July 24 Malcolm vandalised the window of Ms Mackay’s office with a red paint marker. Mr Allan said that the writing again included antisemitic and neo-Nazi symbols. The next day an employee contacted the police.

When officers went to Malcolm’s home the walls were covered with antisemitic and Nazi slogans, including “death to all Jews”. Mr Allan said Malcolm “stated that he was looking to shock people with his messages so that they would wake up and see the truth”. While Malcolm was in custody he smeared swastikas and other symbols on the walls of his cell in his own blood.

Mr Allan said that on August 9, after Malcolm had been bailed, police were given information that he had damaged gravestones at Old Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch, where there are 38 graves of Commonwealth service personnel.

The Times

Sonny Grainger is only 21 but has already been in court 20 times

He was the baby-faced boy who became one of the youngest people in Hull to get an Asbo.

And Sonny Grainger is now back behind bars after making his 20th appearance in court this week.

Grainger was jailed for two years and four months for a shocking attack outside a Hull pub which saw him punch a man “for no reason”, follow him, kick him in the head and then brag about the assault to a bouncer.

Grainger, who was the second youngest person in Hull to be given an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) has previously served two short spells in prison for his behaviour.

He was slapped with the order in 2009 and banned from seven streets after he “terrorised” the Boothferry estate by stealing cars, starting fires, assaulting neighbours and even smashing his own windows.

Neighbours described him as a “living hell”.

‘Wave of terror’

Sonny Grainger was once described as an 'ASBO Crimewave'

Sonny Grainger was once described as an ‘ASBO Crimewave’

PC Trevor Neeham said at the time: “Sonny Grainger has caused untold misery for the people of the estate. He has been a tyrant to people here.

“On a daily basis we received complaints about his behaviour, it is actually unbelievable how bad this lad was. He has been a one-boy wave of terror.”

He went on to break the terms of his Asbo just two hours after it was served with it, followed by a further five times in 18 months. He was eventually put on a tag.

Kicked out of 7 schools

When he was 13, he assaulted a fellow pupil at Bridgeview Special School, Hessle, after he was caught with cannabis on the premises. At the time, his mother said the order was no longer working and claimed she was not receiving the support she needed to tame him.

Grainger was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), a condition where children have disruptive and oppositional behaviour that is directed towards authority figures.

In 2011, when he was 14, he returned to trouble and was given a second Asbo which lasted for two years after causing problems around the former One Stop shop in Hessle Road.

He was shoplifting, harassing staff and causing damage. By this point he had already been excluded from seven schools.

Just a year later Grainger was sent to a secure children’s home in Leeds after breaching the second order.

Grainger arriving at court in 2014

Grainger arriving at court in 2014

At the time, his mother said: “He was very upset when they took him away. He was crying his eyes out.”

She told at the time that her family were not getting enough help with him and her son “knew how to play the system” by a very young age.

Ward councillor Pete Allen said: “I don’t like to see any young lad get sent to a children’s home but if that’s the best thing fro him, it may not be a bad thing if there is a long-term gain.

“Sonny has to take advantage of this opportunity.”

However, he did not and he was soon back in trouble again.

In 2015, when he was 18, Grainger was back at court for attacking a man with a plank of wood after his brother had taken his own life the day before.

Hull Magistrates Court heard how Grainger took his frustration out on a man he mistakenly believed was trying to provoke him. He admitted four charges, including one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of racially aggravated violence.

The victim of the attack suffered a number of facial injuries, including lumps on his head and bruising to his face.

Grainger also admitted racist language towards his victim. He was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, as well as a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Criminal friends

Grainger posed with guns with notorious criminal Liam Windas

Grainger posed with guns with notorious criminal Liam Windas

In 2015, he was seen in a picture on a Facebook profile with notorious Hull gangster Liam Windas.

The picture, from Sonny’s Facebook page, shows the pair posing with guns and smiling. Windas was jailed for 24 years in October this year after supplying drugs and guns across Hull.

Although Grainger has managed to behave since then it seems his troubled past was never far away.

Attacked man ‘for no reason’

This week he was jailed for causing grievous bodily harm after carrying out the sickening attack outside the King Edward pub in Anlaby Road “for no apparent reason” in the early hours of June 23.

Hull Crown Court heard how, after punching his victim, Grainger then followed him along Anlaby Road before kicking him in the head, leaving him and then going back and moving his unconscious body, leaving him and then going back and moving his unconscious body onto the path.

He then went back to the pub and “re-enacted” the attack to the bouncer.

Sonny Grainger has been sentenced for the attack

Sonny Grainger has been sentenced for the attack

His mitigation said Grainger had been thinking about his late brother – who’s birthday was coming up – and his former relationship which had recently ended.

Judge Bury said he had gone out to “drown his sorrows.”

Shocking CCTV footage was shown to the court.

Prosecuting, Mr Nigel Clive said the 21-year-old, now of Walsall Garth, had an “unenviable criminal record” who “first came to the court in 2008 to the youth court and he was back before the court regularly”.

Jailing Grainger to two years and four months – half of which he will serve in custody – Judge Bury said: “The incident was an unplanned one and your mental state was not the best that night. The CCTV doesn’t indicate any particular reason why you punched him, but punch him you did. You followed him and caught up with him at a busy junction and approached him.

“This was a repeated assault. You have previous for violence but they are not as serious as this. It is clear you are still young and I accept you are very sorry for what you have done but that doesn’t take back what you have done and for that you have to be punished, although I accept you had emotional issues at the time.”

Hull Daily Mail

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowki admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowki admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism

A 17-year-old boy from west London has pleaded guilty to terror offences linked to the neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division.

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowki admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism.

He entered guilty pleas during an Old Bailey preliminary hearing.

A court order that prevented his identification was lifted by the judge.

He will be sentenced at a later date and will next appear on 25 February.

The charges state that in August this year Dunn-Koczorowki used accounts on the Gab social media site – including one for the Sonnenkrieg Division itself – to post material that would encourage others to prepare or engage in acts of terrorism.

He will be sentenced at a later date and will next appear the Old Bailey on 25 February 2019.

A co-defendant – Michael Szewczuk, 18, from Leeds – also appeared in court, but has not yet entered pleas.

Mr Szewczuk, a Polish national, is charged with five counts of encouraging terrorism and three of disseminating terrorist publications.

A provisional trial date was fixed for 13 May 2019 at Manchester Crown Court.

Both defendants were granted conditional bail.

BBC News