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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

He also tried to use a 3D printer to make parts of a firearm

A Derbyshire teenager who uploaded extreme right-wing videos to the internet has been convicted of terrorism offences. Police said Daniel Harris, 19, expressed “toxic rhetoric” in the online material and that he tried to use a 3D printer to make gun parts.

Harris was arrested earlier this year following an investigation by specialist officers from the Counter Terror Policing East Midlands team. Today (Wednesday, November 30), following a trial at Manchester Crown Court, Harris, of Lord Street in Glossop, was found guilty of six offences.

The jury found him guilty of five counts of encouraging terrorism, relating to his creation and uploading of material to the internet between February 2021 and March 2022. They also found him guilty of one count of possession of material for terrorist purposes – this related to the possession of a 3D printer, which he had tried to use to make parts of a firearm.

He was found not guilty of a single count of encouraging terrorism. Harris was remanded in custody until January 16, when he is due to be sentenced at the same court.

Detective Inspector Chris Brett said: “Due to his age and previous offending, we initially attempted to engage with Harris through the Prevent programme, but it soon became clear he was pretending to be deradicalized whilst encouraging terrorism online. The threat he caused meant we had to act in order to ensure the safety of the wider public.

“I’d like to thank our team of dedicated and skilled colleagues involved in this complex investigation into an individual who, in the videos that he produced, clearly demonstrated a distain 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. In a search of Harris’ house, the rather chilling discovery of attempts to make component parts of a firearm printed from his 3D printer, showed a clear intent to create a deadly weapon.”

Derby Telegraph

A man with Nazi memorabilia at his home who posted four anti-Semitic cards to neighbours in his block of flats has been put behind bars.

Sheffield Crown Court heard on November 14 how Peter Aird, aged 53, of Bramall Lane, Sheffield, was captured on CCTV in the mail room of his block of flats taking these cards from his mail box and placing them into his victims’ boxes.

Prosecuting barrister Ian West said: “A number of business cards were posted through the letter box of The Anchor Point accommodation, on Bramall Lane – a shared accommodation with shared letter boxes.” The cards featured a number of anti-Semitic comments relating to conspiracy theories about the Covid jab, according to Mr West.

Mr West said Aird clearly seems to have hostile views towards those of the Jewish religion, and unpleasant, fascist Nazi memorabilia was displayed at his home.

Aird, who has a previous conviction for manslaughter, pleaded guilty to four counts of sending an article with intent to cause distress or anxiety between November 29, 2021, and December 2, 2021, after he posted four anti-Semitic ‘business cards’ to neighbours’ homes.

Clarkson Baptiste, defending, said: “He had no idea of their ethnicity so this was not directly targeting the Jewish community so these cards weren’t sent to people he believed to be Jewish.”

Mr Baptiste added: “He cannot deny he holds views that a large proportion of our society would find objectionable and offensive. However, he maintains he is not anti-Jewish but what was printed would cause offence.”

Judge Peter Keslon KC told Aird he had manufactured and posted these cards into the letter boxes of others in his apartment block. He added that Aird’s neighbours were shocked, left feeling harassed and distressed, with one pregnant recipient left feeling ‘extremely anxious’ and others describing the material as ‘racist’ and saying the person responsible is ‘vile’.

Judge Kelson, who sentenced Aird to 12 months of custody, told him he was stirring-up racial hatred and submissions that he was not anti-Jewish ‘fall on deaf ears’. He added: “An immediate prison sentence is required in this case and it is necessary to mark society’s revulsion at your activity and a deterrent sentence is necessary.”

Sheffield Star

A Neo-Nazi who dreamed of organising a white supremacist “fight back” as he posted online “I love being a racist” is facing jail.

David Hutchinson, 61, put a string of hate-filled memes and comments on Russian social media site VK, targeting black people, Jews, and Muslims.

His social media profile featured the “white lives matter” mantra and featured the number 1488 – a coded reference to Adolf Hitler and his fascist book Mein Kampf.

Hutchinson has admitted making social media posts with intent to stir up racial hatred, as Kingston crown court heard comments he had made in online chatroom referring to himself as a “lone wolf”.

He said he is “waiting for my white race to wake up and fight back”, suggesting he is “looking for 40 men” and is “trying to organise whites”.

In another chat, Hutchinson said he thinks fear of prison is stopping others from joining his cause, adding: “I love being a racist and I want to get in with people who say ‘f*** the system’ and ain’t frightened to fight for a good cause.”

Prosecutor Lee James Harris said Hutchinson was tracked down after posting inflammatory and offensive messages on VK, a Russian social media site similar to Facebook.

Hutchinson was arrested in February this year after being linked to the social media posts, and detectives then discovered further incriminating material and messages on his devices.

He pleaded guilty to seven charges of publishing written material to stir up racial hatred, and was remanded in custody by Judge Peter Lodder KC on Thursday.

The judge will pass sentence on Tuesday, telling Hutchinson “custody is the very very likely outcome”.

Evening Standard

He is set to stand trial next year

A man is set to stand trial after denying attempting to murder another man following an attack outside an Essex bar. Geoffrey Ryan is alleged to have tried to murder a man outside The Lounge Bar in Braintree.

The incident happened at around 11.30pm on September 9. The victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries but thankfully they were able to be treated and he has since been discharged.

The area around Market Place was cordoned off by police as forensic teams investigated the scene. Essex Police made an appeal for witnesses following the incident.

Geoffrey Ryan, 53 of Kiln Way, Braintree was arrested and subsequently charged with attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon and racially aggravated public order. He appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday (October 10) via video link where he pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and racially aggravated public order.

However, Ryan admitted possession of an offensive weapon. A trial has been set for the other two charges at the same court for 20 February 2023. Attempted murder can carry a lengthy prison sentence if a defendant is convicted.

Essex Live

Alex Belfield was found guilty last month after subjecting victims to ‘avalanche of hatred’

A former BBC local radio DJ has been jailed for five years and 26 weeks for stalking broadcasters including Jeremy Vine and subjecting his victims to an “avalanche of hatred”.

Alex Belfield, 42, was last month found guilty of waging a relentless stalking campaign against broadcasters, with Vine labelling him “the Jimmy Savile of trolling”.

Sentencing Belfield at Nottingham crown court on Friday, Mr Justice Saini told him: “Your offences are so serious, only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

The judge said that while Belfield’s actions were not “traditional stalking … your methods were just as effective a way of intimidating victims and in many ways much harder to deal with”.

He added there had been “no escape” for Belfield’s victims until bail conditions were imposed before his trial, and said he agreed with Vine’s characterisation that the ex-DJ had “weaponised the internet” against those he targeted.

He also ordered indefinite restraining orders be made against Belfield, in favour of his victims and four other individuals.

The trial heard Belfield had repeatedly posted or sent abusive messages, videos and emails to his targets and in recent years had set up a YouTube channel known as Celebrity Radio.

The BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith was left feeling suicidal by a “tsunami of hate”, the trial heard, while Vine, a Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter, described his abuse as “an avalanche of hatred”.

Jurors accepted Belfield had caused serious alarm or distress to two victims and he was found guilty of “simple” stalking in relation to Vine and the theatre blogger Philip Dehany.

Saini said a pre-sentence report showed that, while Belfield “fully acknowledges the distress to victims”, it also “highlights you still appear to focus on the impact on you and feel in certain respects you’ve been unfairly treated”.

Giving evidence in court, Vine said watching Belfield’s videos was “like swimming in sewage” and said: “It felt like I had a fish hook in my face and my flesh was being torn, and the only way to avoid further pain was to stay completely still.

“I was brought so low. I just thought: ‘There’s no point broadcasting if the effect is that I’ve got this’.”

Jurors convicted Belfield, of Mapperley, Nottingham, of four charges committed between 2012 and 2021.
BBC News

English Defence League founder has 14 days to pay

Tommy Robinson has been fined £900 for failing to turn up at a High Court hearing to be questioned about his finances.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, had been expected at a hearing in March over an unpaid legal bill after he lost a libel case brought against him by a Syrian teenager last year.

Jamal Hijazi successfully sued Robinson after the then-schoolboy was assaulted at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in October 2018.

After the incident went viral, Robinson made false claims, including about Mr Hijazi attacking girls in his school, leading to the libel case.

Following a pre-trial hearing in November 2020, the English Defence League founder was ordered to pay more than £43,000 in legal costs.

Earlier this year, Mr Hijazi’s lawyers successfully applied for an order requiring Robinson to return to court to answer questions about his finances on March 22, but the 39-year-old failed to attend.

He was summonsed to court to face contempt proceedings in April and, at hearing on Monday, was handed a £900 penalty after admitting being in contempt of court.

Mr Justice Nicklin said: “I’ve decided to punish Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s contempt by imposing a fine.”

He added that Robinson now has 14 days to pay and could be liable to serve 28 days in prison if he fails to do so.

The High Court was previously told that Robinson was facing mental health issues at the time of the March hearing, which he claimed were a result of being harassed.

However, on Monday, Mr Justice Nicklin said: “Whatever psychiatric issues Mr Lennon had, they did not prevent him from coming to the hearing that he failed to turn up at.”

The judge later said Robinson had recently published a video asking for support, including the words “Don’t let them lock Tommy up again” and “Keep him free of the clutches of the corrupt establishment”.

Mr Justice Nicklin said he had decided to fine Robinson prior to seeing the video and that “it was never serious enough to justify a period of imprisonment”.

The High Court judge also noted that Robinson had legal aid for his barrister for Monday’s hearing, adding: “He was in no need for donations for his representation today, the state was paying for it.”

In June, Robinson appeared at the High Court to be questioned over his finances at the postponed hearing, where he told the court that, in a two-year period prior to declaring bankruptcy, he spent around £100,000 on gambling – largely in casinos.

Robinson was previously jailed after being found in contempt of court after he filmed men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls and live-streamed the footage on Facebook, in breach of a reporting ban, outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

He was sentenced to 13 months in jail after being found in contempt of court on the day of the broadcast but served just two months before being freed after that finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August 2018.

The case was then referred back to the Attorney General and he was jailed again in July 2019.

Following Mr Hijazi’s successful libel claim, Mr Justice Nicklin ordered Robinson to pay him damages of £100,000 and his legal costs, thought to be around £500,000.

The Independent

Michael Coyle stood for election to Westminster as the BNP candidate in Glasgow South in 2010, and as a National Front MSP candidate for Linlithgow.

Former soldier Michael Coyle

A Far-Right thug who stood as a BNP and National Front candidate in two elections is facing a substantial prison sentence for violently raping a woman and attempting to rape her teenage daughter.

A jury heard particularly distressing evidence that former soldier Michael Coyle humiliated his 39-year-old victim by using a craft knife to carve the word “s***” into her thigh; “w****” into her arm; “old” and “saggy” on her breasts, and the letters “FAT” across her stomach.

Tattooed Coyle, 40, who also rubbed the woman’s face against a rough wall leaving a burn-like mark on her cheek, was further convicted of wilfully ill-treating her children by forcing them to stand in a cold dark room for hours and of assaulting two of her sons by presenting a knife at them and hitting one of them on the face.

He was due to be sentenced at the High Court in Livingston on Monday after earlier being remanded in custody for background reports. However, when he appeared via a videolink from Addiewell Prison, West Lothian, the court was told that no-one had got in touch to interview him for a criminal justice social work report.

Coyle’s defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said: “No responsibility for that falls on Mr Coyle. He’s not been contacted. He’s anxious for the matter to proceed as soon as possible.”

Mr Stewart tendered two letters to the court in mitigation and said a new date for sentencing had been identified as 6 September at Edinburgh High Court.

Judge Alison Stirling, who earlier described the violent and controlling abuser’s case as “complex and harrowing”, adjourned the case until then.

She said: “It’s unfortunate the criminal justice social work report is not available. It was through no fault of Mr Coyle and, as far as I’m aware, it’s not the fault of the court either.

“I hope we can have that chased up and the report will be available when he appears in front of me again on 6 September in Edinburgh.”

Giving evidence against Coyle at his trial the mum-of-five told how he didn’t allow her to go out or see friends.

She said she was “on a stopwatch” any time she left the house with violent consequences if she returned late.

She claimed he raped her after accusing her of cheating on him when she returned home late from a girls’ night out.

She said he sent messages from her Facebook account to a photographer who’d taken her picture in a rock pub saying: “Did I flirt with you? I can’t remember.” Then asking if the stranger was interested in her.

Then, she said, as she was lying on the couch he started hitting her in the face with his manhood.

She told the court: “He was saying things like ‘This is what you want isn’t it, you little s***? This is what you wanted all night.’

“He kicked me in the stomach and then he told me to get back through to bed. I thought ‘That’s over’, but it wasn’t over.”

She went on: “He pushed me backwards onto the couch. He started doing that thing with his penis again saying that’s what I wanted and I was going to get it – I was going to get my wish.

“He started pushing my legs apart with his knees and I screamed but he just covered my mouth. I was on my back on the couch and he was pushing his forearm down into my face.

“He put himself inside me and he didn’t stop until he was finished. I couldn’t fight back.”

She said she once tried to flee from the house half naked but he rugby tackled her to the floor shattering her teeth so badly she lost four on one side of her mouth and two on the other.

Her daughter, now aged 18, testified that the car bodyshop worker of Livingston, West Lothian, sexually assaulted her when she was around 12 or 13 years-old.

She told how she woke up and found him straddling her, naked from waist down, and attempting to insert his penis into her mouth.

Coyle, who has had his name added to the sex offenders’ register, stood for election to Westminster as the BNP candidate in Glasgow South in 2010 and fought as National Front candidate to become a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Linlithgow constituency.

He failed on both counts.

Daily Record

He possessed videos which ‘glorify terrorism and which promote white supremacy throughout’

An 18-year-old Oxfordshire man has pleaded guilty to Extreme Right Wing Terrorism offences. Oliver Riley pleaded guilty to a number of charges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).

Riley was arrested in October last year in Gloucestershire. He had uploaded several videos of a ‘neo-Nazi racist nature’ to the internet which breached UK Terrorism Act legislation.

He pleaded guilty to the following offences on Monday, July 11:

Three counts of possession of a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Providing a service to others that enables them to obtain, read, listen to or look at such a publication and intended, or was reckless, as to whether an effect of his conduct would be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message that was grossly offensive contrary to Section 127 of the Communication Act 2003.

Riley, of The Meadows, Watlington, was released on bail. He will be sentenced at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, on August 19.

Head of CTPSE Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Wright said: “Riley has recognised that he committed these offences by being in possession of videos which glorify terrorism and which promote white supremacy throughout. Some of the harmful content Riley had promotes the separation of races by violent means, along with some particularly hateful content being directed at the LGBTQ+ community. These are serious offences and I am glad that he at least acknowledged these offences by pleading guilty.”

Oxfordshire Live

Luca Benincasa, 19, is the first person to be convicted of belonging to the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) since the far-right organisation was banned.

A “prominent member” of a banned white supremacist group has pleaded guilty to terrorism offences.

Luca Benincasa, 19, is the first person to be convicted of belonging to the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) since the far-right organisation was banned in July 2020.

A Nazi dagger and Schutzstaffel (SS) officer’s hat were among items discovered in his bedroom in Cardiff when police raided his separated parents’ respective homes.

Appearing at Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire on Friday, the teenager pleaded guilty to membership of the FKD and four counts of collecting information likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism on or before February 1 2022.

The banned terrorist group, which primarily exists online, is said to promote violence and mass murder in the pursuit of a race war.

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said: “The defendant fits into the lower end of a prominent member role as opposed to merely an active member.”

Judge Jane Miller QC remanded Benincasa in custody as she adjourned sentencing to September 20.

A flag depicting the logo of the SS, Adolf Hitler’s paramilitary organisation, was hanging on Benincasa’s bedroom wall alongside a fascist Italian flag when police conducted a raid on February 1 this year.

Parts of an SS officer’s uniform, including a hat and Swastika armband, were also seized along with items of camouflage clothing, a tactical vest and masks.

Benincasa’s laptop was found to contain extreme right-wing literature and documents, including instructions on security and how to make explosives and poisons.

An unfinished “The Feuerkreig Division Handbook” was also discovered, as were handwritten notes linked to Benincasa’s extremist ideology.

The teenager appeared in court by video-link from Chelmsford prison in Essex, wearing glasses, and rosary beads over a blue polo shirt.

Belfast Telegraph