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A white supremacist who admired Hitler and wanted to “hang the black race” was jailed and released after breaching the terms of his prison sentence by attending a National Front rally.

Lawrence Burns from Cambridge during his appearance at Crown Court in Cambridge last year

Lawrence Burn

Lawrence Burns, 25, of Coldham’s Lane, Cambridge, was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in a series of inflammatory Facebook posts in 2014.

He also “shared images of Hitler” and, later on, gave an inflammatory speech at a memorial demo for a US white supremacist.

Burns was jailed for four years, but the sentence was reduced to two-and-a-half-years by the Court of Appeal the same year because of his young age and “poor educational background”.

Cambridge Crown Court heard today (August 1) that after being released, he was spotted at a National Front rally on November 11 last year.

As part of his March 2017 sentence, he was also given a criminal behaviour order (CBO) which prevented him from attending rallies without notifying authorities three days before – which was still active after he was released.

He had not told the authorities he was going to be at the rally.

Burns was then imprisoned for breaching this condition in January this year, and had been in custody since.

A “foolish error”

At sentencing this afternoon, Burns admitted breaching the order – but his defence counsel Adrian Davies told Judge Jonathan Cooper it was not intentional and was a “foolish error.”

Mr Davies said Burns had complied with the CBO by not attending a political meeting after the rally.

In passing his sentencing, Mr Cooper said he was “sceptical” of Burns’ excuse – being the same judge who sentenced him in March 2017.

Mr Cooper said he considered Burns an “intelligent young man” after observing him during the trial.

Addressing Burns, he said: “I am going to impose a sentence upon you which will be a prison sentence which will result as a guarantee in your immediate release. If not today, tomorrow.

“I said to you at the time of the original sentence how important freedom of speech was, and also the expression of political opinions and that the CBO imposed was not in itself designed to thwart the proper exercise of those freedoms.

“It was made clear the CBO did not prevent you from attending political meetings, permission to attend political meetings, it required notice in order to monitor your conduct.

“So I am mindful of the fact that in this case the demonstration wasn’t illegal, nothing said was illegal, nothing said or done by you would have been a criminal offence apart that it breached the order.”

Burns was sentenced to six weeks in prison, half in custody – which he had already served on remand after his initial sentence expired on June 20.

He was therefore released from prison. The criminal behaviour order stood in place.

Burns was handed a printed sheet of the conditions so he could not make the excuse again.

Cambridge News

Lawrence Burns, 26, made anti-semitic comments and shared Hitler imagery online

Lawrence Burns from Cambridge during his appearance at Crown Court in Cambridge last year

Lawrence Burns from Cambridge during his appearance at Crown Court in Cambridge last year


An extremist who made anti-semitic comments and shared Hitler imagery online has been jailed for four years.

Lawrence Burns, 26, had earlier been found guilty of two charges of inciting racial hatred in a string of provocative Facebook posts in 2014.

He was also prosecuted for making a racist speech at a memorial demonstration for American white supremacist leader David Lane.

In the speech, which was later shared online via YouTube, Burns was heard to refer to Jews as “parasites” that wanted to create a “mongrelised race”.

Burns, of Coldham’s Lane, Cambridge, was charged with the two offences on January 22 last year and found guilty in December.

A judge at Peterborough Crown Court today ruled that he should serve a total of four years in prison for his offences.

During the trial it was alleged that Burns commented on a YouTube video that he wanted to “hang the black race”, while also sharing Adolf Hitler artwork.

Jurors were shown screenshots of hundreds of Facebook posts that Burns had written under a different name.

In one post, Burns is alleged to have written that black children were born with a “horrible” nature and were mean to animals.

He is also reported to have written: “The white race is the only race that can boost evolution. The rest of the other races must be eliminated.”

Prosecutor Mark Weekes earlier summarised Burns’s extreme views to the court. He said: “This is a young man who is an extremist and has expressed racist views, particularly towards the Jewish and Afro-Caribbean community.

“On his public Facebook account, which has more than 90 friends, he expressed some of the vilest and most offensive sentiments possible.

“Many of the posts are abusive and insulting towards Jews, who he refers to as ‘sub human animals’ and contain offensive words.”

Mr Weekes added that in a post on August 28, 2014, Burns accused white women of “mating with race-mixing filth” and on September 1, 2014, compared Jews to “maggots in a decaying body” who are “hijacking the genes of a superior white race”.

Adrian Davis, who defended Burns during the course of the trial, said Burns had mistakenly thought his Facebook account was set up to keep his posts private.

He said someone seeking to incite racial hatred would seek the largest possible audience, whereas Burns had set out to do the “very opposite, but messed it up”.

Mr Davis said Burns was a “rash young man” who had never intended his words to be read by a wide audience.

Cambridge News