Author Archives: virginiagolden

Matthew Henegan was described as “potentially a very dangerous man”

A coronavirus conspiracist who distributed anti-Semitic hoax theories has been given an extended jail sentence of more than 12 years.

Matthew Henegan, 37, from St Neots in Cambridgeshire, was found guilty of possessing, distributing and publishing documents to stir up racial hatred.

A pre-sentence report said he was “potentially a very dangerous man”.

Sentencing at Winchester Crown Court, Judge Nigel Lickley QC, said Henegan “created racist material”.

In leaflets and online posts made in March 2020, Henegan claimed Jewish people were behind Covid-19 news stories and “controlled the media”, the court heard.

Residents reported receiving “offensive and anti-Semitic” leaflets through their letter boxes.

These included links to video and audio files posted by Henegan on a website which were racially inflammatory.

Cambridgeshire Police searched his home on 17 April 2020 and found a large number of leaflets.

Swastika armband

The court heard a document called Coronavirus Hoax Supplement was posted online on 9 March 2020 which included anti-Semitic themes and admiration for Adolf Hitler.

In a three-hour-long video called Corona Virus Hoax, tagged with the words Corona Virus, Adolph Hitler (sic), Nazi, Jews and Mein Kampf, Henegan spoke to the camera telling people to ignore the coronavirus curfew.

Following his arrest, he described Jewish people as “a bunch of criminals” and claimed Hitler was “clearly a righteous person”, the court was told.

The defendant, who was unemployed and lived with his mother, was ordered to remove a swastika armband during a previous hearing.

He told his trial that he was interested in historical research, particularly Germany’s role in World War Two.

He rejected the “commonly held view” that Hitler began the war, and also that six million Jewish people died at the hands of Nazis.

‘Manipulative and devious’

A pre-sentence report found that he was a “loner, [a] potential threat to society and potentially a very dangerous man”.

Henegan, who refused to attend the sentencing hearing, was jailed for eight years and one month with an extended licence period of four years upon his release.

He was also made subject to a counter-terrorism notification order for 30 years.

The judge said Henegan had previously undergone a mental health assessment after he shot himself with a gun, and he was found to be “dangerous, cunning, manipulative and devious”.

He added that “in the context of the pandemic enveloping the world, you distributed material designed to incite racial hatred”.

The court heard Henegan had previous convictions for inciting a child under the age of 16 to partake in sexual activity, as well as receiving a caution in 2021 for possession of the drug ecstasy, and reprimands in 2001 for assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

BBC News

A notorious far-right extremist who made sick jokes about Jewish people being exterminated during the “Holohoax” faces a jail term after being convicted of trying to trick girls into a bizarre sex experiment.

Simon Sheppard and his extremist racist views have caused serious upset and controversy in the past.

Sheppard, who has recently been residing in Bridlington, turned his attention to sexual exploitation of vulnerable children, Hull Live writes.

The 65-year-old went on trial at Hull Crown Court accused of two offences involving attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child on August 12.

He gave four teenagers a card inviting them to take part in a “sexperiment” which would have involved having sex with them.

They did not accept Sheppard’s invitations, however, and reported the incidents to their parents, who alerted the police.

He was convicted by a jury after a trial and was remanded in custody for pre-sentence reports.

Sheppard was warned that he faces a prison sentence for the offences.

He 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 that had been pushed through the door of a synagogue in Blackpool.

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 whites, blacks, Asians and Jews should be segregated by “selective breeding”.

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 whites, blacks, Asians and Jews 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.

Sheppard may have turned his attention most recently to sexual matters involving children, rather than racist matters, but he still seems odds-on to get another prison sentence when he returns to court to be dealt with for those offences.

Daily Record

Conrad Howarth pleaded guilty to gathering terrorist material

A man who possessed a “terrorist handbook” and had an “obsession” with far-right ideologies has been jailed.

Conrad Howarth, from Nelson in Lancashire, pleaded guilty to gathering terrorist material and also possessing extreme pornography.

The 41-year-old was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for four-and-a-half years.

Counter-terror officer Det Ch Insp Clare Devlin said right-wing terrorism “will not be tolerated”.

“The evidence seized in this investigation was concerning and demonstrated Howarth’s obsession with far right wing ideologies,” he said.

Howarth, of Pinfold Place, admitted a charge of collecting, recording, possessing or viewing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Police said they found the extreme pornography on a laptop when searching his home.

BBC News

A Neo-Nazi teenager who sent a bomb manual disguised as a Minecraft video game guide to fellow extremists has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Connor Burke, 19, had books on Nazis and Hitler’s Third Reich in his bedroom, an SS dagger, racist and anti-Semitic propaganda on his computer, and hate-filled material including a video about the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand.

Anti-terror police raided his family home in Bexleyheath in February last year, after Burke shared a 27-page bomb-making manual with fellow extremists on a Telegram chat group.

The electronic document was named Minecraft_Bow_Ammo_Types.pdf in an apparent attempt to disguise its true nature.

Further terrorist documents, including the Anarchy Cookbook Version 2000, which gave recipes and advice for making explosives, had also been downloaded by Burke and disguised as handbooks to the popular video game Minecraft.

Burke’s barrister, Naeem Mian QC, said the teenager’s “mortified” parents were at Woolwich crown court for the sentencing hearing, and believe he “fell down a rabbit hole” online during lockdown.

“It is every parent’s worst nightmare”, he said. “Through a toxic combination coming together, a young man who is from a very loving background but socially isolated found he was having to stay at home as many people were during lockdown. So the isolation was even greater.

“He was therefore spending too much time on his computer and on the internet, in his room by himself.

“He is a young man who has disappeared down something one would term as a rabbit hole. A very dark rabbit hole which became something of an echo chamber.”

Mr Mian said Burke found a “sense of belonging” in the far right chatrooms and messaging apps, where “what he had to say mattered”.

The court heard Burke downloaded the extremist files between September and December 2020.

He was a member of a Telegram “English Only” group, and had posted a list of the names of fellow university students in September 2020 with the comment “my lectures are full of P***s”.

The following month he shared the bomb manual Minecraft file.

Judge Christopher Kinch QC said material of Burke’s computer, including an image of the teen posing with an imitation rifle, Nazi salutes, and a picture of his dagger nicknamed “Jew Smiter”, showed his extremist mindset.

“You got yourself caught up in some very dangerous activity and you waded in deep”, he said.

The judge noted a letter from the teenager’s parents, calling him a “loving, respectful, gentle young man” who they believe had been motivated to “make an impression” with people he met online, and said he believes Burke has a good chance of rehabilitation.

Burke pleaded guilty to disseminating a terrorist publication and four counts of possession of a document likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

He will be on licence for an extra year at the end of his three-and-a-half year sentence.

Evening Standard

A hate speaker who was jailed over a series of public protests against sex offenders has been locked up after distributing a video of a child having intercourse with an animal over WhatsApp.

William Charlton, known as Billy, was given a prison sentence in 2019 over speeches he gave at a series of planned demonstrations in Sunderland.

Charlton was jailed for 21 months in September 2019 and was told by the judge he was “an intelligent, articulate, skilled public speaker but also a manipulator and bully” who had caused a “toxic atmosphere” in the city.

By that time, police had already seized his phone after a video had been found, that he had sent to another man who had been arrested for an unrelated matter, which featured a child engaged in a sex act with an animal.

Charlton was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court last summer of sending the video clip to over 40 of his contacts over WhatsApp.

The 57-year-old had insisted he did not view the 18 second video, which featured a boy aged between 10-14 with the animal, before he forwarded it on and had no reason to suspect its contents were illegal.

Prosecutor Ian West told the court today: “There is no suggestion he is a paedophile or gained any sexual gratification from watching or distributing theimage, nor did he intend any of the recipients to receive sexual gratification from it.

“He just has, it seems, a sick sense of humour.”

Charlton, of Sidmouth Road, Gateshead, was convicted of distributing a Category A image of a child.

He had also admitted possessing extreme pornography in relation to an image involving an adult female engaging in sexual activity with an animal.

And he had also pleaded guilty to another offence of extreme pornography, again involving an adult.

Judge Sarah Mallett today jailed Charlton for a total of three years and said he must sign the sex offenders register for life.

The judge told him: “It is accepted by the prosecution you did not have any sexual motivation in distributing the image and that is one of the factors I have to consider.”

But the judge said any distribution of such image risks “potential exposure to a large number of people” and the fact the video was already in the public domain was no consolation to the child featured in it.

Judge Mallett said Charlton has been assessed as “unlikely to engage mindfully in offence focused work” with the probation service and has “not proved to be susceptible to changing views”.

The judge said Charlton has a “very limited prospect of rehabilitation” in the community.

During his trial last summer, Charlton told jurors he would regularly receive and send “daft jokes” over the messaging app on his phone and did not alwayswatch them.

He added: “It was just daft joke messages, things like that, you know what I mean.

“I would just forward them on, not even thinking about it most of the time.”

Charlton insisted he had not watched the video featuring the animal and child, that he had received from someone else.

He added: “It wasn’t something I would expect from him.

“He knows if he sent me images of children I would kick off with him, as I would anyone else.”

Charlton told jurors he is a “proud father and grandfather” and would receive and send messages thinking they were “daft jokes”.

He added: “Now, being branded a paedo over a stupid video I’ve never even seen, I would tell all my friends and family, get off it all.

“If you send something and you are not aware of it, you could be sitting here.”

His barrister Chrisopher Rose told the court today Charlton had a “crass, indifferent” attitude to the image and there was no sexual motivation behindthe offences.

Mr Rose said Charlton is not heavily convicted and added: “Since his release he has been of good character. He has not committed any further offences.”

Mr Rose said Charlton now leads and “isolated life” after the “public shaming”.

Sunderland Echo

The 51-year-old called for people to cook bacon over burning mosques

Paul Shelton, Buxton Road, Furness Vale, called for Islam to be made illegal

A Derbyshire painter and decorator posted “utterly vile” rants on social media where he said “we need to burn all mosques in our country” and “cook our bacon on the ashes”.

Derby Crown Court heard how Paul Shelton used an anonymous Facebook profile to spout his abhorrent views.

His sentencing hearing was told how like-minded people liked and shared his posts including one where he called Muslims “dirty, twisted, s***-stinking, paedos”.

And in what his own defence solicitor called “a beautiful and ironic silver lining” the 51-year-old has since found out he has a grandson who is half-Iraqi.

Jailing him for 20 months, Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “What you posted was utterly vile, grossly offensive and appalling.

“No right-thinking person would think this is anything other than abhorrent.

“The internet is a wonderful thing which has brought many benefits for all of our society.

“The problem, however, is that it is a medium which allows individual groups to peddle hate against sections of our society.

“Your views demonstrated hostility towards Muslims which does not allow me to accept the submission these were merely drunken rants.

“You posted anonymously and included you talking about an EDL (English Defence League) protest ‘outside Didsbury paedo cult hall’ in which you said people should “burn it down and cook our bacon on its ashes”.

“You called for Islam to be ‘completely outlawed in our country’ and said ‘we need to burn all mosques in our country.”

Jennifer Joseph, prosecuting, said police became aware of anti-Muslim postings made by a Facebook profile called “Pedro Smokey,” which following an investigation in late 2018, turned out to be Shelton.

She said messages were posted on an open public group called The Realist People Movement, the first of which read “we need to burn all mosques in our country, what say you?” which received messages of support from other online users.

Miss Joseph said a second message posted online referred to Muslims as being “dirty, twisted, s***-stinking, paedos” and used a racially offensive term toward Asian people.

She said: “(The prosecution) say it would not be right to suggest the messages are completely out of character and just a drunken mistake.

“He was interviewed and he was not particularly co-operative.

“He would not tell the police what his Facebook password was and when asked ‘are you Pedro Smokey?’ he replied ‘I can’t answer that question’.”

Shelton, of Buxton Road, Furness Vale, High Peak, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to two counts of publishing material that would incite religious hatred.

He has no relevant previous convictions and nothing for 10 years.

Richard Orme, mitigating, said since being arrested his client has got back in contact with his estranged daughter who has an Iraqi partner who has a child by him.

He said: “It’s a beautiful and ironic silver lining that he adores his half-Iraqi grandson and, in his own words, spoils him rotten.

“There has been a lot of water under the bridge, this is three-and-a-half years old and he is a new man who now does not share those views.

“He bears no ill-will towards Muslims.”

As well as the jail sentence, Shelton was handed a five-year criminal behaviour order limiting his use of the internet and meaning he has to tell the police about passwords and social media accounts should they demand to know them.

Derby Telegraph

A neo-Nazi terror offender who was ordered to read Jane Austen has been jailed after judges overturned his “unduly lenient” sentence.

Ben John, now 22, was handed a suspended prison sentence for possessing a terrorist document in August, meaning he would not be jailed unless he broke the conditions of a Serious Crime Prevention Order

At the time, Judge Timothy Spencer QC urged him to swap far-right propaganda for English literature, asking John: “Have you ever read Dickens? Austen? Well, start now. Start with Pride and Prejudice. Shakespeare? Try Twelfth Night. Dickens, start with A Tale of Two Cities and, if you have time, think about Hardy and think about Trollope.”

He sentenced John to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a one-year extended licence and a five-year Serious Crime Prevention Order.

Court of Appeal judges found that sentence was unlawful and sent John to prison for two years.

He was ordered to hand himself in at a police station by 4pm on Thursday, when he will be taken into custody.

Judges ruled that under the Sentencing Code which binds judges, sentences of more than two years cannot be suspended, and John’s term amounted to three years.

Lord Justice Holroyde did not criticise Judge Spencer’s remarks, and said he had been “in the best possible position to assess the offender”.

“It was certainly a very lenient sentence but we are not persuaded that in the circumstances in this case, the length of the term of imprisonment was itself unduly lenient,” he added.

“It is because the term was unlawful that we conclude it was unduly lenient.”

The Independent

A schoolboy has become the youngest person in the UK to be convicted of terror offences.

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the 14-year-old, who cannot be named, admitted three counts of possessing information useful to a terrorist.

The boy, from Darlington, was arrested in July last year when he was 13 as part of an investigation into extreme right-wing terrorism.

He was bailed and will be sentenced on 1 April at Newton Aycliffe Youth Court.

The teenager, who had been active on racist online forums, was charged last week with possessing information useful to a terrorist, with the offences relating to a period on or before July 2021, when he was 13.

The investigation was carried out by Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

Until now the youngest British terror offender was a neo-Nazi from Cornwall who downloaded one of several terrorist manuals when he was 13 but he was two years older when he was arrested.

The youngest person convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK was a 16-year-old boy, also from Country Durham.

BBC News

THREE men who began a drunken violent punch-up in a Chester pub’s beer garden have been put behind bars.

Kyle Slater, Thomas Nelson and Taylor Wolstencroft had all travelled from the Greater Manchester area to Chester on Wednesday, August 4 and, after being told to leave The Commercial Bar and Hotel that afternoon, returned to throw chairs, tables and punches, Chester Crown Court heard on Thursday, December 23.

Slater, 21, of Merehall Drive, Bolton; Nelson, 28, of Leaf Street, Bolton and Wolstencroft, 18, of Uplands Avenue, Radcliffe, were all locked up for 10 months by Judge Patrick Thompson.

The trio had previously pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to affray.

Prosecuting, Siôn Ap Mihangel said it was at about 4.30pm when the duty manager of The Commercial saw the three men sat at a table, arguing with people at another table, and the comment “f*** Chester” was heard from the group of men, among threats.

They were asked to leave and were ushered away via the alleyway leading to Northgate Street.

The manager returned inside and then saw a chair being thrown outside – the group had returned, and were throwing chairs, tables, bottles and punches.

One of the women who had been on the other table was seen covering her head.

The duty manager went outside and he was kicked to the stomach, landing on the floor on his tail bone, causing discomfort.

The three men ran off as extra staff intervened, and police were notified, with the trio being arrested in Chester.

CCTV footage showing Slater being the man who first threw a chair, as well as the rest of the fight, was played to all three defendants in court.

In police interview, Slater said he was very drunk and did not remember much, having gone to Chester with 12 friends initially, but the group had split up.

He had been drinking double JD and coke and was “feeling a bit tipsy”. He admitted the level of violence was “unacceptable” and that, with hindsight, he should have just walked away.

Wolstencroft declined to comment when asked if the man shown on CCTV was him.

Nelson said he had tried to calm the situation down at first, and initially succeeded as the group left, but accepted he had returned to the beer garden with them and ended up throwing a table.

Nelson had eight previous convictions for 11 offences, with Wolstencroft two previous convictions and Slater one previous conviction.

All three had football banning orders, and Wolstencroft had breached his in May 2021.

Judge Thompson said it was surprising that nowhere had it been mentioned in the case, other than in a probation officer’s report, that the three men had travelled from the Bolton area to Chester on the day Chester FC were playing Bolton Wanderers in a pre-season friendly that evening.

He said it was an “incredible coincidence” if the three, who previously had football banning orders, had travelled to Chester but were not later going to the football match.

Brian Treadwell, defending Slater and Nelson, said Nelson had tried to defuse the situation initially, but what followed was a joint enterprise.

He had made “full and frank admissions” in police interview.

Slater had one prior conviction for setting off a smoke bomb at a football stadium.

Jade Tufail, defending Wolstencroft, said there was a lack of maturity for the defendant and he accepted it was “a stupid thing to do”.

Judge Thompson said people in Chester were “sick and tired” of people coming to the city and being drunk and violent, so only immediate custody was appropriate.

He added Wolstencroft did not appear to take the court seriously by breaching his football banning order.

Nelson is part of the NWI mob fron a few years ago.

Bolton News

An alleged right-wing extremist has denied a terrorist plot to kill a solicitor in north-west London.

Cavan Medlock is alleged to have arrived at the Duncan Lewis law firm in Harrow on 7 September 2020.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Medlock was allegedly armed with a knife and handcuffs, while carrying a Confederate flag and a Nazi flag.

The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty to six charges against him including preparation of terrorist acts.

Mr Medlock denied a separate charge of making a threat to kill solicitor Toufique Hossain.

He pleaded guilty to four other offences relating to three other staff members.

Mr Medlock, from Harrow, admitted battery and threatening the receptionist with a knife and causing racially aggravated alarm, harassment or distress to the two other employees.

He is also alleged to have abused two other members of staff because of their racial or religious background.

Prosecutors allege Mr Medlock is an extreme right-wing terrorist who planned to kill the solicitor because he objected to his involvement in preventing the Government deporting immigrants.

Mr Justice Wall set a two-week trial for 11 July next year at Kingston Crown Court.

BBC News