Daniel Harris “inspired” mass killer Payton Gendron who shot dead 10 people in Buffalo, New York. The British teenager was also said to have influenced Anderson Lee Aldrich, the only suspect in a shooting at a Colorado gay bar in which five people were killed.

A British teenage extremist has been jailed after his far-right videos were linked to two mass murders in the US.

Daniel Harris used an online platform called World Truth Videos to disseminate a “call to arms” for his violent racist beliefs, a court heard.

The 19-year-old from Glossop in Derbyshire was convicted of five counts of encouraging terrorism and one of possessing a 3D printer for the purposes of terrorism after a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in jail, and a further 3 years on licence.

Prosecutors said US mass killer Payton Gendron was “encouraged and, in part, motivated to do what he did” by Harris.

Gendron murdered 10 black people in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, in May 2022 while livestreaming the attack. Within hours, Harris produced a video celebrating the killing spree.

Gendron, 19, had left a comment on one of Harris’s videos two months before the mass shooting, saying: “You are not alone my friend :)”.

The video included lessons to be learned from Brenton Tarrant, who livestreamed an attack in which he killed 51 people at mosques in New Zealand in March 2019.

Gendron had also taken an image from another of Harris’s videos and used it as the main image on his “manifesto”.

Prosecutor Joe Allman said Gendron was “inspired” by Harris’s material.

The British teenager also influenced Anderson Lee Aldrich, the only suspect in a shooting at a gay bar in Colorado, the court was told.

Aldrich, 22, allegedly killed five people during an indiscriminate firearms attack in Colorado Springs, in November last year – while Harris was on trial in the UK.

Aldrich – who is yet to enter pleas over the Colorado shooting – “accessed material” produced by Harris, Mr Allman said.

The prosecutor told the court one of Harris’s videos was posted on the “brother site” to a website with links to what appeared to be a livestream of Aldrich preparing to carry out the attacks.

Mr Allman said: “The Crown say it demonstrates that individuals of the greatest concern have accessed the material produced by Mr Harris.”

Harris was described in court as an “influential online propagandist for a violent and deeply racist ideology”.

His videos glorified mass killings and were “tantamount to a call to arms to those who shared, or who could be persuaded to share Mr Harris’s world view,” Mr Allman said.

Under the pseudonym “BookAnon”, Harris’s videos “encouraged and gave instructions for carrying out acts of terror against those deemed not to be part of the white European race,” the court heard.

One video showed how to make an assault rifle using a 3D printer and when police raided Harris’s grandfather’s house, they found that he had begun making the parts himself.

Toxic rhetoric with untold influence’

After the teenager’s conviction, Detective Inspector Chris Brett said attempts were initially made to engage with Harris through the Prevent programme, which aims to stop people becoming terrorists.

“It soon became clear he was pretending to be deradicalised whilst encouraging terrorism online,” Mr Brett added.

“The threat he caused meant we had to act in order to ensure the safety of the wider public.”

Mr Brett said Harris “clearly demonstrated a disdain for law enforcement and public order, as well as an admiration for those who had committed atrocities in terrorist attacks overseas”.

“By posting these videos online, Harris’ toxic rhetoric could have had untold influence on countless people across the world – such actions will not be tolerated,” the senior officer said.

He added that officers made “the rather chilling discovery of attempts to make component parts of a firearm printed from his 3D printer” during a search, which “showed a clear intent to create a deadly weapon”.

Sky News

Daniel Harris faces jail after being convicted of publishing terrorist material from his grandfather’s house in Glossop

A teenage extremist from Derbyshire inspired the suspect accused of killing five people and wounding 17 others in a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in the US, a judge has been told.

Daniel Harris, 19, is facing jail after being convicted of publishing far-right terrorist material from his grandfather’s spare bedroom in Glossop.

The teenager, who went by the name of BookAnon online, produced videos that called for an armed uprising and celebrated white supremacist murderers including Anders Breivik.

Manchester crown court has previously been told that Harris’s videos were viewed by Payton Gendron, the 19-year-old who killed 10 people in a racially motivated attack in Buffalo, New York, last May.

The judge, Patrick Field KC, was told at a sentencing hearing on Thursday that the material had also been watched by Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the suspect accused of a deadly nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs last November.

Harris is facing 12 years in prison and possible extradition to the US after being convicted of five terrorism offences relating to extreme rightwing videos he uploaded to the internet.

He was also found guilty of possessing a 3D printer, which he tried to use to make parts of a firearm. Harris will be sentenced on Friday.

Joe Allman, the prosecutor, told the court that Harris’s connection to the Buffalo mass killer was “well made out” and was “evidence that another has acted on or been assisted by [his videos] in order to endanger life”.

The court was told that Gendron, using his alias Jimboboii, shared and commented on at least two of Harris’s videos, writing to him four weeks before the mass killing: “Thank you for your service.”

Hours after the Buffalo attack, Harris, posting from his grandfather’s house, celebrated the killings in an online video. He was arrested two days later after an undercover sting at a motorway service station.

Further police investigation found that at least one of Harris’s videos, celebrating the gunman who shot dead 51 people in the Christchurch mosque massacre in 2019, had been viewed by Aldrich, who opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on 19 November last year – while Harris’s trial was ongoing.

Allman said the connection to Aldrich showed that “individuals of the greatest concern have accessed the material produced by Mr Harris”. He said the teenager’s videos were “not simply hateful – they’re trying to motivate and instruct”.

The judge, Patrick Field KC, described Harris’s link to the racist Buffalo murders as “wide-ranging”.

Field was told that Harris, who was born in London, is believed to have dropped out of school at the age of seven and was sent to live with his grandfather in Glossop.

By the age of 18 he had convictions for common assault, criminal damage, possession of indecent images of children and racially aggravated damage of a memorial in Manchester to George Floyd, a black man whose murder by a US police officer sparked street protests in the US and UK.

Harris’s barrister, James Walker, said the teenager had acknowledged that “he needs to change his behaviour” but was the subject of “significant failings” by his family and the local authority.

He said the teenager had been exposed to white supremacist material online from the age of 11 and was spending as much as 14 hours a day online.

The Guardian

Luca Benincasa was sentenced to nine years and three months for terror offences and possessing indecent images of children

Luca Benincasa was sentenced to nine years and three months for terror offences and possessing indecent images of children

The self-styled “UK cell leader” of a banned neo-Nazi group has been locked up for terror offences and possessing indecent images of children.

Luca Benincasa, 20, from Cardiff, was sentenced to nine years and three months at Winchester Crown Court after admitting a range of offences.

He had instructions on bomb making and was a recruiter and “prominent member” of Neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division.

He also downloaded indecent images of children as young as four.

Benincasa, from the Whitchurch area of the city, pleaded guilty to terrorism offences and possession of indecent images of children.

After he was arrested he scrawled satanic and far-right messages on his prison cell, and said on social media: “Told my mum I want to be a terrorist for 2022.”

The court heard the Feuerkrieg Division “grew out of” National Action and other banned, far-right groups.

National Action was co-founded by Alex Davies, from Swansea, who was sentenced in June 2022.

Prosecutors said Benincasa was 19 when he committed the offences and was the self-described “UK cell leader” of the Feuerkrieg Division, and “one of its key recruiters”.

The Feuerkrieg Division primarily existed online and promoted violence and mass murder in the pursuit of a so-called race war.

Benincasa admitted belonging to the white supremacist group after it was proscribed in July 2020 and four counts of collecting information likely to be useful to a terrorist.

When police searched his bedroom, they found a Nazi dagger and flags, airsoft rifles, tactical clothing and documents on how to make explosives and poisons.

The prosecution said Benincasa had manuals on how to make improvised explosive devices, pipe bombs and plastic explosives.

He became increasingly involved with far-right ideologies during lockdown, which was described by the prosecution, as a “watershed moment”.

The court heard he “became increasingly detached”, spent a lot of time speaking to “friends in America” and asked his mother to order him an SS flag, which she refused.

The court heard the Feuerkrieg Division group “directly appeals to boys and men who feel they are disempowered”.

Benincasa described himself as an “incel”, which stands for involuntarily celibate and has been linked to mass-killings in the United States.

Feuerkrieg Division "grew out of" National Action, another banned far-right group co-founded by Alex Davies

Feuerkrieg Division “grew out of” National Action, another banned far-right group co-founded by Alex Davies

He held at least 33 one-to-one conversations with potential recruits, some as young as 14 and the court heard he was “actively recruiting individuals”, asking potential recruits to put up five so-called, “propaganda posters” in their area.

In January 2022 Benincasa spoke to a 14-year-old boy called Jurgen from Germany and said: “The minimum age for recruits is 15, sorry. This is a real life group, you know that.”

Benincasa’s defence barrister said the Feuerkrieg Division was “entirely online without any real world meetings”.

Benincasa also previously pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children, including multiple counts of possessing an indecent image of a child and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

The ages of the children in the images were four, five and seven years old.

Benincasa used Google to search for terms such as “rape games”, and “child porn T-shirt”.

Officers found a Nazi dagger, airsoft rifles and tactical clothing alongside Nazi flags in Benincasa

Sentencing, judge Jane Miller KC said: “You see yourself in a high position and the rules do not apply to you. You do present a serious risk of harm to the public.”

Benincasa was sentenced to a total of nine years and three months in a young offender institute.

BBC News

Oliver Lewin, 38, of Leicestershire was found guilty of after being accused of engaging in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism

A telecoms engineer who plotted terror attacks on phone, TV and radio masts as part of a plan to “topple the government” has been jailed.

Oliver Lewin, 38, who had claimed he was a “fantasist” during a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, had been found guilty of preparing terrorist acts.

The court heard he carried out reconnaissance of potential targets and sought to recruit others.

Lewin, of Ferrers Road, Coalville, was jailed for six and a half years.

‘Many untruths and exaggerations’

Judge Paul Farrer KC was told during a hearing on Friday that Lewin was “deeply opposed” to the government of the United Kingdom.

Annabel Darlow KC, prosecuting, told the court Lewin believed the government was “dominated by a Jewish elite who took orders from Israel”.

Lewin also was sceptical about the coronavirus pandemic, and believed that the vaccine was being used to kill white people across Europe.

The judge said it was difficult to separate Lewin’s intentions from his “many untruths and exaggerations”, but said he “held an intention to commit an act of terror and took at least some preparatory steps to bring that about”.

He said Lewin attempted to recruit people during a four-and-a-half week period between July and August 2021, using encrypted messaging app Telegram.

He pretended to have worked for the Army to portray himself as a “knowledgeable and brave military man”, the court heard.

During that time, he was also talking to two undercover officers and claimed he was carrying out reconnaissance missions and writing a manual on how to overturn the government.

The court heard Lewin had identified communication masts in Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, Bardon Hill and Copt Oak, in Leicestershire, as well as transport links such as the M1, as potential targets.

In one message he said: “I won’t stop until we take this country and stop it all in its tracks.”

‘Discord, distrust and fear’

Lewin had previously worked as an audio visual engineer for a small company that installed and maintained radio masts.

Prior to sentencing, defence barrister Andrew Hall KC said Lewin had lied and exaggerated in his dealings with the undercover officers as his “personal obsessions simply overwhelmed him”.

Mr Hall said Lewin – who is autistic – had been immersed in a “sinister world of Covid conspiracy” after being “dragged down a rabbit hole” online, but had not caused any damage.

“He is plainly skilled and highly intelligent in some ways,” he said. “He had not put a foot wrong before the Covid lockdowns.”

Sentencing Lewin, the judge said: “At the time of the indictment, you were socially isolated, depressed and lacking in self-worth.

“These features led you into telling many lies about the extent of your terrorist activities.

“Your objective was to influence the government although in reality the prospects of you successfully doing so were remote in the extreme.

“In light of all of the evidence, I conclude that at the time of your arrest your plans were far from complete, and your intended terrorist action was not imminent.”

Lewin was told he must serve two-thirds of his sentence before being able to be considered for parole.

After the trial, West Midlands head of counter terrorism policing Det Ch Supt Mark Payne said: “Lewin claimed he was a fantasist but it is clear he took the steps to carry out reconnaissance of targets to attack, bought equipment and tools, dug hide-outs and tried to recruit and train others.

“Extremists use this kind of ideology to create discord, distrust and fear among our communities and we strive to counter this.”

BBC News

Elliot Brown was convicted of collecting a sharing information useful to terrorists

A man who shared bomb-making instructions in a far-right group chat has been jailed for three years and three months.

Elliot Brown, 25, from Bath, shared a video of his Alexa speaker reading out a recipe for the explosive thermite.

Brown denied collecting information that could be of use to a terrorist and disseminating a terrorist publication.

He was found guilty after a week-long trial and jailed at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday.

Brown was sent to prison for three years and three months on each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Judge Anthony Leonard KC also ordered Brown spend an extra year on licence after his release due to his offences “being of particular concern”.

During the trial the jury heard how Brown, who has no previous convictions, held “extremist views”.

Brown was a member of a far-right group chat in which he exchanged racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic messages with other members.

The group chat also contained photos related to the support of neo-Nazism and white supremacy.

Brown recorded a 30-second video on 22 March 2020 in which his Amazon Alexa speaker responded to his question – “how do I make thermite?”

Alexa read out instructions from a website which Mr Brown recorded and sent into the chat via the messenger app Telegram.

Three days later fellow group member Dean Morrice purchased materials that could be combined to make thermite.

In August 2020 police raided Morrice’s home and found enough aluminium powder, iron oxide, and magnesium ribbon in the kitchen to make the explosive substance.

Morrice was later convicted of 10 terrorism related offences, including stockpiling explosive materials.

Brown was subsequently arrested in February 2021 for the dissemination of a terrorist publication but he told police he made the video “as a harmless joke”.

He said he had “a dark sense of humour” and was being “ironic” and had “made comments” to gain others group members’ approval because he was significantly younger than them.

Giving evidence, Brown said he was “ashamed and angry” of “extremist” comments he had made in the group chat.

“My views, at the time, were uneducated, far-right, anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic and I was in a vulnerable place at the time and had become more right-wing,” he said.

He said he had abandoned his extremist views, adding he was “saved by becoming a Christian” after Morrice’s arrest.

Det Supt Craig McWhinnie, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South West (CTPSW), said: “While there is no evidence that Brown planned to commit any terrorist attack, his actions went beyond just casual talk and are a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act.”

Supt Steve Kendall, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “People like Elliot Brown, who hold extremist views, can live absolutely anywhere and, although these instances are rare, they remind us we all need to be vigilant.”

BBC News

Elliot Brown was convicted of collecting a sharing information useful to terrorists



A man who shared bomb-making instructions in a far-right group chat has been convicted of terror offences.

Elliot Brown, 25, from Bath, shared a video of his Alexa speaker reading out a recipe for how to make the explosive substance thermite.

Brown denied wrongdoing but was convicted of collecting information that could be of use to a terrorist.

He was also convicted at Bristol Crown Court earlier of the dissemination of a terrorist publication.

On the first count Brown was convicted on a majority verdict of 10 jurors to two, and on the second charge by 11 jurors against one, following seven hours and 18 minutes of deliberations.

He is due to be sentenced at 10:00GMT on Monday at the same court.

The week-long trial heard how Brown, who had no previous convictions, held “extremist views”.

He was a member of a far-right group chat, in which he exchanged racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic messages with other members.

The group chat also contained photos related to the support of neo-Nazism and white supremacy.

Brown recorded a 30-second video on 22 March 2020, in which his Amazon Alexa speaker responded to his question – “how do I make thermite?”

Alexa read out instructions from a website, which Mr Brown recorded and sent into the chat via the messenger app Telegram.

Three days later fellow group member Dean Morrice purchased materials that could be combined to make thermite.

In August 2020, police raided his home and found enough aluminium powder, iron oxide, and magnesium ribbon in the kitchen to make the explosive substance.

Morrice was later convicted of 10 terrorism related offences, including stockpiling explosive materials.

Brown was subsequently arrested in February 2021 for the dissemination of a terrorist publication, but he told police he made the video “as a harmless joke”, the court heard.

He said he had “a dark sense of humour” and was being “ironic” and had “made comments” to gain others group members’ approval because he was significantly younger than them.

He told police he did not have extremist or far-right views.

But giving evidence, Brown admitted to holding “far-right, anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic” views, at the time.

Addressing the jury, prosecutor Naomi Parsons said: “I ask you, are his actions not a little bit more than a joke, as we have realised with Brown, a joke is not necessarily the whole story.

“Sharing a video explaining how to make an explosive with a right-wing group, who have an over-arching concern for white genocide, is that a joke?

“The group talked of race war, and Brown himself said that the race war was upon us.

“Morrice tells you about the people that Brown associated with and understood, and that he knew the potential consequences of his actions.”

Brown has been granted bail ahead of sentencing.

BBC News

Stuart Sutton has been jailed

A racist has been jailed after making several anti-Semitic posts on social media.

Stuart Sutton, 45, of Wigan, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday December 21) after being convicted of five counts of publishing or distributing written material likely to stir up racial hatred, contrary to Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986. It followed an eight-month period in 2021 when he made a number of vile posts.

Sutton was caught following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North West (CTPNW). Officers raided his home in Broadway, Hindley, on February 2 of this year and he was arrested.

He has now been jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to the crimes. Amanda Bomsztyk, Northern Regional Director of the Community Security Trust (CST), said: “CST welcomes this outcome which follows our alerting CTPNW to Sutton’s incitement just over a year ago. It is important that such extreme Jew-hatred and racism leads to arrest and imprisonment.”

Detective Superintendent Andy Meeks, of the CTPNW Investigation Department, added: “We would always encourage people to report acts of racial hatred, whether that’s in person or online . ” To report a crime of this nature, visit the Counter Terrorism Police’s ACT campaign website.

Manchester Evening News

Oliver Lewin, 38, planned attacks due to opposing the Tory government 
He tried to stir up a movement of individuals on the Telegram messaging site
He was found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court and will be sentenced next year

A conspiracy theorist is facing jail after being found guilty of plotting terror attacks on critical national infrastructure in a bid to ‘topple the British government’.

Oliver Lewin, 38, planned a series of widespread coordinated attacks which included ‘taking out’ motorways and firebombing phone, radio and TV masts.

A court heard that he wanted to cause mass disruption to the UK’s communication systems and travel infrastructure after becoming ‘obsessed’ with the idea that the country was being controlled by ‘Jewish elites reporting directly to Israel’.

The former AV engineer was also deeply opposed to the Tory government and believed that ‘white people across Europe were being systematically killed by the vaccine’ in a ‘planned genocide’. 

Oliver Lewin, 38, of Leicestershire was found guilty of after being accused of engaging in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism

Due to believing this and that the Coronavirus had ‘triggered the emergence of a Chinese communist system’ in Britain, Lewin set about trying to destabilise the Government.

He did this by stirring up a movement of like-minded individuals via the encrypted messaging site Telegram.

In a series of messages it was claimed that he wrote: ‘We are at war people make no mistake…Peaceful marching has not and will not do anything.

‘You have to choose a better strategy.

‘I have one that I think will work but it involves staying out in the wild for a few days at a time.’       

Annabel Darlow KC, told the court: ‘In 2021 Oliver Lewin was deeply opposed to the government of the United Kingdom. Mr Lewin stated in terms that his goal was to topple the British government.

‘He believed it was dominated by Jewish elites who took orders from Israel.

‘At the same time he saw the spread of the Coronavirus across the world as triggering as what he termed as the emergence of a Chinese communist system.’

Lewin discussed targeting the M1 and M42 motorways and police later found him in possession of a manual on his laptop entitled: ‘Civilian Resistance Operation’, in which he encouraged readers to join his cause and commit attacks.

He stated: ‘For now there are several things that we can collectively do to cause significant damage to the country and send a message that we are serious in our mission.’ 

Lewin made his preparations between July and August last year. 

Undercover officers also discovered he had purchased military-style equipment and he was found with three air rifles and a rifle scope.

Officers also seized a pistol, BB gun, a walkie talkie and binoculars as well as a packed rucksack to camp overnight. 

Ms Darlow continued: ‘Mr Lewin engaged in reconnaissance of potential targets to attack, purchased equipment and tools, dug a hideout and sought other persons to commit and/or assist in committing acts of terrorism.’

Lewin, of Coalville, Leicestershire, was trialled after being accused of engaging in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Today he was found guilty of the charge by a jury sitting at Birmingham Crown Court and will be sentenced at a later date.

The trial was told that Lewin, who previously installed and maintained radio masts, carried out meticulous research online into systems to identify weaknesses of the masts.

He also carried out on-site research during reconnaissance missions in his local area and even built a hideout so could hide from police helicopter.

One of his plots included damaging a culvert which disrupted water flow underneath the M1 motorway.

He carried out training exercises, taught himself to walk in the dark and how to avoid travelling by road at night.

Lewin, who also claimed in Telegram chats he was ex-military, was arrested on August 25 where he claimed he was only a fantasist.

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands CTU, Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, said after the case: ‘In interview, Lewin claimed he was a fantasist.

‘But it is clear he took the steps to carry out reconnaissance of targets to attack, bought equipment and tools, dug hide-outs and tried to recruit and train others.

‘He wanted to advance a political cause by damaging property and wiping out media organisations.

‘Extremists use this kind of ideology to create discord, distrust and fear among our communities and we strive to counter this.’

Nick Price, Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, also said: ‘Oliver Lewin planned to commit a terror attack on our nation’s infrastructure by amassing a huge amount of equipment, and undertaking reconnaissance.

‘He not only was committed to the idea that violence was the only way to overthrow the government, but he also sought to persuade others to join him.

‘These beliefs are extremely dangerous, and I am pleased that a jury has found him guilty of these crimes.’

Lewin is due to be sentenced on January 20 next year.

Daily Mail

Daniel Lewis (L) received the heaviest sentence of 19 years after admitting seven robberies while Daniel Holding (R) received 15 years



A gang has been jailed for more than 50 years over a string of armed shop robberies across Lancashire.

The balaclava-wearing men threatened staff with weapons at Co-op and Spar shops in Leyland, Preston and Chorley as well as Warrington, Cheshire.

Staff were left “shaken” and “distressed” after the eight raids between November 2021 and April.

Lancashire Police said the gang netted more than £10,000 each time they hit the convenience stores.

Daniel Lewis, 35, of Battersby Street, Wigan, was jailed for 19 years after he admitted seven robberies.

His co-defendant Daniel Holding, 33, of Arley Close, Wigan, pleaded guilty to six robberies and was jailed for 15 years.

He was jailed at Preston Crown Court alongside Anthony Heaton, also 33, who admitted his part in five robberies.

Heaton, of Marshall Avenue, Warrington, was jailed for 14 years while Matthew Lowe, 34, of Petticoat Lane, Wigan, was jailed for seven years after he pleaded guilty to two robberies.
Anthony Heaton and Matthew Lowe

(L-R) Anthony Heaton and Matthew Lowe were jailed for their parts in the robberies

Det Insp Denise Fardella said: “The men entered the store wearing balaclavas or masks, while brandishing weapons and threatening people who were simply trying to do an honest day’s work.”

She added: “In each case there were two or three members of staff working when the offences were committed and many say they were left distressed and extremely shaken and are still feeling the effects of that today.”

BBC News

Far-right extremist Simon Sheppard had previously denied the Holocaust happened



A notorious far-right extremist who made sick jokes about Jews being exterminated during the “Holohoax” set himself up as an eccentric “mad scientist” in a cynical bid to entice girls into having sex for a so-called “sexperiment”.

Simon Sheppard pretended to be a psychologist when he approached girls in Bridlington and gave them a card inviting them to take part in the bizarre bogus sexual experiment. The 65-year-old, who has strong links to Hull, has now been jailed for three years and nine months.

Sheppard, of Promenade, Bridlington, had been convicted by a jury on February 18 after a trial at Hull Crown Court of eight offences involving attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and inciting the sexual exploitation of children in Bridlington.

Recorder Tahir Khan KC told a sentencing hearing at Bradford Crown Court that a 21-year-old woman went with a friend to Bridlington on July 17 last year. Sheppard approached them, made conversation and asked them how they were and if they wanted to go on an adventure.

“You were claiming to be a scientist who had degrees and was conducting an experiment,” said Recorder Khan. “You were saying you were accredited.”

They declined the offer of going for a walk and having a drink. “He was holding himself out to be a psychologist,” added Recorder Khan.

Three weeks later, on August 12 last year, two 15-year-old twin girls were at Bridlington pier when Sheppard approached them and handed them a card and encouraged them to go with him. “The girls were confused and thought that the invitation that you were extending was creepy and they began to leave,” said Recorder Khan. “You got up and started to follow them. They ran and later told their mother what had happened.”

On August 21 last year, two girls were at the fairground at Bridlington pier when Sheppard – “wearing a suit” – handed one of them a card, which she took. “You disappeared quickly from the direction you had come,” said Recorder Khan. “You were encouraging these young girls to participate in a so-called experiment but they had the good sense not to.”

On August 31 last year, Sheppard approached two 14-year-old girls who were sitting on a wall eating ice creams and “came very close to them” before handing them cards. He told them: “Just read it.” The invitation was for them to have sex for £150. The police became involved and investigated Sheppard’s activities.

“You persisted in claiming that you were a psychology expert and you weren’t doing anything wrong,” said Recorder Khan. “The police found no evidence that you were, or are, a psychologist, nor could they find any scientific publication connected to you on a website. You were passing yourself off as a scientist.

“You passed yourself off as a scientist and approached girls in the hope that they would participate in penetrative sexual activity in exchange for money. You blamed the victims for what happened.”

Gareth Henderson-Moore, mitigating, said that there was no evidence that Sheppard had a specific interest in children and he has no previous convictions for sexual offences. “There were no images recovered from any device,” said Mr Henderson-Moore.

“There have been no previous markers of any kind to indicate concerns about children and he says that he does not have any interest in children. He has been rather broad in the people that he has targeted in this enterprise and there are statements from adults also who were targeted in the same way.

“The offending has arisen as a result of his wilful disregard for the age of the persons he approached rather than a particular targeted interest in minors.”

The offences were very unpleasant. Sheppard had vulnerabilities and had a marginalised childhood and adolescence. “He considers himself to something of a mad scientist and it is perhaps that which has led him into trouble on more than one occasion,” said Mr Henderson-Moore.

“He has spent a considerable amount of time on remand. He was convicted in February and has waited in excess of nine months to know his fate. That has been nine months of anxiety. He continues to be vulnerable in a custodial environment and reports that he has difficulties with other prisoners.”

In addition to his jail sentence, Sheppard was given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must register as a sex offender for life.

History of racism and Holocaust denial

Sheppard had been jailed for nine months at York Crown Court in June 2018 after being convicted by a jury of using racially aggravated words to a Sky engineer. He had “barracked” the man while he was working on a satellite dish at a neighbour’s flat in June 2017.

Sheppard, then living in Selby, was also given a five-year criminal behaviour order. He had told the court that he was not happy that a black man had been given a flat in his block of flats and denied intending the neighbour to overhear racist abuse. It had been claimed that Sheppard regularly used a racist word when he saw the neighbour.

In 2008, Sheppard claimed asylum in the United States under freedom of speech laws after failing to turn up at court towards the end of a seven-week trial at Leeds Crown Court, where he was accused of publishing racially aggravated material. He was convicted in his absence of a series of charges relating to possessing, publishing and distributing racially inflammatory material.

He failed in his asylum application and was deported back to this country after being detained at a Los Angeles airport. He was later jailed for four years and 10 months but the sentence was eventually cut by a year after an appeal.

The material was anti-Semitic and racist, with what police described as “despicable references to the Holocaust”. Police said at the time: “You have to remember that there are people in our community who lived through the Holocaust. They don’t deserve to have their experiences treated in this way.”

Sheppard claimed that he was not breaking the law because he used an internet server that was based in the United States, but a judge ruled that the prosecution could go ahead. Sheppard claimed that he was being persecuted because of his right-wing views.

The police investigation began after a complaint in 2004 about a leaflet called “Tales of the Holohoax”, which had been pushed through the door of a synagogue in Blackpool. It was traced back to a post office box in Hull registered to Sheppard. One leaflet found by police suggested that the Auschwitz concentration camp was a holiday camp provided by the Nazis and that Jews from all over Europe went there to enjoy a free holiday.

In 2000, a trial at Hull Crown Court was told that Sheppard, then aged 43 and living in Westbourne Avenue, west Hull, had claimed that there was “nothing wrong with being racist”. He had been found with election leaflets parodying the deaths of the Jews in the Holocaust.

The police were called in after complaints from members of the public. He declined to offer pleas and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf.

Sheppard and a youth delivered the two-sided leaflets to homes in the Avenues area of Hull ahead of the European elections. There was reference to the “country being spoiled by millions of immigrants from the Third World” and he suggested that white people, black people, Asian people and Jewish people should be segregated by “selective breeding”.

Sheppard had been found with 153 leaflets. The youth had another 248. The prosecution told the court: “He told the police there was nothing wrong with being racist and he was campaigning on behalf of the British National Party.”

He was convicted by the jury of publishing and possessing threatening, abusive or insulting leaflets.

Hull Daily Mail