Priti Patel: Men jailed over racist Snapchat video that went viral

A man has been jailed for making a racist Snapchat video in which he targeted Home Secretary Priti Patel and used racial slurs.

Jake Henderson filmed himself verbally attacking Ms Patel as she gave a Covid briefing on TV.

The 30-year-old, from Retford in Nottinghamshire, also targeted an unnamed black man at the briefing.

After he posted the video it was shared more widely by his friend Robert Cumming, who has also been jailed.

The video then went viral after a third unnamed person posted it on Twitter, where it has been viewed millions of times.

In it Henderson says: “As a white man, I won’t be listening to people of colour because they are no good in positions of power.”

Both men admitted sending a grossly offensive message by public electronic communications when they previously appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Andrew Meachin sentenced them at the same court, where he gave Henderson a 10-week sentence.

Cumming, who is 26 and from Doncaster, was given a six-week sentence.

“Mr Henderson clearly knew what he was doing when he made the video and Mr Cumming equally knew what was he was doing when he decided to pass it on,” the judge told the court.

Daniel Church, prosecuting, said the Snapchat video was not an isolated incident as Henderson had “previously behaved in an openly racist manner”.

He said Henderson had been given a caution for phoning a taxi company and threatening to firebomb one of their cars, after seeing rumours online that one was being driven around with an Isis flag hanging out of it.

The court heard he had also posted racist, homophobic and sexist tweets. These included saying “feminists should be shot” and describing gay marriage as “vile”.

In another tweet he wrote: “Sometimes I wish I could round up all the ethnic minority’s [SIC] and put them in a cage. #hitlerismyhero”

He posted the racist Snapchat video on 21 January of this year.

When police searched his house they found a mobile phone belonging to his partner which contained further racist videos of him.

These included one in which he had made a racial slur while waiting for a takeaway, Mr Church said, and another in which he put on a fake Asian accent.

‘Emigrating to France’

In mitigation, Henderson’s solicitor said he made the video when drunk, while having “a difficult time at work” and while finding “lockdown particularly difficult”.

She said he had sent it to a closed group made up of friends and did not expect it to go viral.

The court heard his parents’ home had been attacked as a result of the video going viral and they had been taken out for their own protection.

He lost his job, his relationship ended, and he has been sacked as a football manager by a local football team.

She said he intends to emigrate to France.

After backlash online, Henderson changed the name of his Instagram account to “please stop” and in his bio asked people to “leave me alone”.

However, he added “I stand by what I said”.

Cumming’s solicitor pointed out he had not made the video himself and had only uploaded it to a private group on Snapchat. She also said there was no evidence he had any underlying racist beliefs, but the judge said Cumming had “condoned” the video by passing it on.
BBC News

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