A RACIST who once tried to evade justice by fleeing to America has been jailed for nine months for a hate crime against his neighbour.
Judge Paul Worsley QC told Simon Guy Sheppard, who has several convictions for hate crimes, he had expressed such ‘vitriolic’ and racially aggravated views that he merited the sentence.
The judge also imposed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order to try to prevent the council tenant repeating such comments.
Sheppard, 61, of Cockrett Court, Selby, had told a jury at York Crown Court he was unhappy that a black man had been allocated a flat in his block of flats.
He said he had “barracked” a Sky engineer working on a satellite dish at the neighbour’s flat about the neighbour’s conduct on June 16, 2017, and used a racist word to describe the neighbour ‘because I was being as nasty as I could be.’
He denied intending the neighbour to overhear, using the same word with a swear word to describe his neighbour and running a hate campaign of racist taunts and actions.
The jury convicted him of using racially aggravated words to the engineer but acquitted him of a two-year racial harassment campaign. Sheppard had denied both charges.
His barrister Stephen Grattage said in mitigation that Sheppard had not offended for a protracted period of time and had medical difficulties.
Opening the prosecution, Martin Robertshaw alleged Sheppard persistently used the racist word whenever he saw the neighbour and matters came to a head on June 16.
Giving evidence, Sheppard agreed with Mr Robertshaw the only objection he had against the neighbour was that he was black and not British, adding he “had ‘taken over a white man’s wife.’
He objected to the “taboo” on using the racist word, claimed being called a “racist” was worse and alleged the “system was completely geared” in favour of black people.
Sheppard was convicted last year of a hate crime by complaining to a Selby council officer that the authority was “fly tipping” by “dumping Africans all over”
In 2008, Sheppard claimed asylum in the USA under freedom of speech law when he skipped bail partway through a trial at Leeds Crown Court for publishing racially inflammatory material.
His asylum bid failed and he was deported back to the UK, where he had been convicted in his absence, and was jailed for nearly four years.