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Gavin Fowler called for the “extermination” of all Muslims on newspaper Facebook page.

A man who posted pro-Hitler comments on a newspaper forum has been fined £1000.

Gavin Fowler posted online abuse calling for the “extermination” of all Muslims after permission was granted to build a new mosque in Perth.

He posted the comment on a local newspaper web forum during a debate about a proposed march against the mosque by the Scottish Defence League.

Fowler, 60, said he wished Adolf Hitler would return and lead the cull.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: “It would be bad enough if this comment had come from someone in their teens or early 20s.

“It would still be extremely offensive, but at least it might be put down to ignorance.

“But being the age you are, born in the 1950s, I find it hard to believe you would not have a modicum of knowledge of recent history.

“It was published in a way that others would read it and without thinking that they might be influenced by it.”

Fowler admitted posting a bigoted message aggravated by religious prejudice on August 4 last year when he appeared at Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Defence solicitor Linda Clark said: “He acts impulsively and without thinking through the consequences of his behaviour to himself or others.

“He is genuinely remorseful and embarrassed by his conduct. He is 60 and has never come to the attention of the police or the court before.”

STV

Mark Meechan went viral on YouTube after recording pet pooch Buddha responding to statements such as ‘gas the Jews’ by raising its paw.

A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been convicted of committing a hate crime.

Mark Meechan, 30, recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘Sieg Heil’ by raising its paw during the footage called “M8 Yur Dug’s a Nazi”.

But after complaints about the content, police were called in and he was arrested for allegedly committing a hate crime by uploading the footage on to the popular video sharing website in April 2016.

The original clip had been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.

 Mark Meechan denied committing a hate crime by releasing a video featuring his girlfriend's dog Buddha giving Nazi salutes (Image: Facebook)

Mark Meechan denied committing a hate crime by releasing a video featuring his girlfriend’s dog Buddha giving Nazi salutes (Image: Facebook)

Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, went on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court where he denied any wrong doing. He insisted he made the video to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29.

However, Sheriff Derek O’Carroll found him guilty of a charge under the Communications Act that he posted a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was ‘anti-semitic and racist in nature’ and was aggravated by religious prejudice.

Sheriff O’Carroll told the court he did not believe Meechan had made the video only to annoy his girlfriend and ruled it was anti-Semitic.

He also said he believed Meechan left video on YouTube to drive traffic to other material he had on there.

He added: “In my view it is a reasonable conclusion that the video is grossly offensive

“The description of the video as humourous is no magic wand.

The 'M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi' video went viral but the court heard it caused huge offense to many Jewish people

The ‘M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi’ video went viral but the court heard it caused huge offense to many Jewish people

“This court has taken the freedom of expression into consideration. But the right to freedom of expression also comes with responsibility.

“The accused is quite obviously an intelligent and articulate man.

“The accused knew that the material was offensive and knew why it was offensive. Despite that the accused made a video containing anti-Semitic content and he would have known it was grossly offensive to many Jewish people.”

Ross Brown, defending, said Meechan had only intended the video to be seen by a small group of friends and to annoy his girlfriend.

He said the material had been leaked and gone ‘viral’ but Police Scotland then wrongly pursued Meechan despite his later videos attempting to ‘set the record straight’.

He said: “The purpose was to annoy his girlfriend but there was no evidence that he intended to cause fear or alarm.

“His girlfriend testified that Mr Meechan had never made known to her any any anti-Semitic views whatsoever.

“The accused possesses both tolerant and liberal views.

“His girlfriend is in no doubt it was an example of his sense of humour.”

Mr Brown told the court it was wrong to focus on the phrase ‘gas the jews’ when it had been taken out of context of the whole video.

He said famous Jewish comedian David Baddiel had even voiced his support for Meechan and asked for him to walk free.

He added: “I can see that the video may not be to everyone’s taste. Others may be able to see the comedic or satirical element to it.

“The court should seek to acquit Mr Meechan for no other reason but to show it is 2018 and not 1984.”

Prosecutors had earlier asked for Meechan to be convicted and branded the video ‘an odious criminal act that was dressed up to look like a joke.’

The depute fiscal added: “He is a highly intelligent and articulate individual, we are not dealing with some callow youth who is inexperienced with what is going on in the world.

“The Crown contention is that the inclusion of the dog is an attempt to muddy the waters around him making, producing and posting the video.

“He says that he knows the context of the video but in a criminal court in Scotland he does not decide the context of anything, the court decides the context.”

Meechan had earlier told the court he only ever intended the video to be seen by a small group of friends on his YouTube account and insisted he still found it funny.

In the video the dog is seen perking up when it hears the statements and appears to lift its paw to the ‘Sieg Heil’ command in the video and is also filmed watching a rally led by Hitler at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson attended court today in support of Meechan.

Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, said the case was a “huge free speech issue.”

Sheriff O’Carroll deferred sentence on Meechan until April 23 for background reports and a restriction of liberty assessment.

Speaking outside court Meechan, a first offender, said: “We are going to appeal.

“There has been a miscarriage of justice.

 Mark Meechan (right) and Tommy Robinson at Airdrie Sheriff Court (Image: SWNS.com)

Mark Meechan (right) and Tommy Robinson at Airdrie Sheriff Court (Image: SWNS.com)

“I think it is a very dark day in regards to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

“The thing that was most worrying is that one of the primary things that has to be considered is things like context and intent and that was completely disregarded.

“For any comedians in Britain, be very, very worried about making jokes in future because the context and intent behind them apparently don’t matter any more.”

Tommy Robinson said: “This is the intelligence services, this is the government, this is the police cracking down and silencing free speech on people who are not even allowed to tell jokes.

“As we’re in Scotland, Frankie Boyle has always said far worse.”

Comedian Ricky Gervais took to Twitter to comment on the case after the verdict.

He said: “A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed ‘grossly offensive’.

“If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive’, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.

“I f***ing hate religion. I’ve criticised and ridiculed it for 40 years. Yet if my government tried to ban it or criminalise it, I would march alongside those poor fools and fight hard for their right to believe any f***ing stupid nonsense they chose.”
Daily Record



A MAN has been jailed for nearly two years for attempting to stir up racial hatred on Facebook.

Unemployed Nigel Pelham, 49, suggested Britain should introduce “bomb a mosque day” and invited his Facebook followers to “put a Muslim on top of a bonfire.”

He pleaded guilty to eight counts of publishing threatening written material intending to stir up religious hatred between February 24, 2015 and November 16, 2015, at Lewes Crown Court in March.

Last week he was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court, London, to 20 months for each of the eight counts to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and had two hard drives and his computer confiscated.

The charges are not used very often and are so serious they needed apporval from the Attorney General.

Pelham, of Freehold Street, Shoreham, previously denied the charges when he appeared before magistrates in Worthing last month.

Sergeant Peter Allan, from Sussex Police’s hate crime unit, said: “The charges brought in this case are extremely serious and were only brought against four people in England and Wales during 2016.

“Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were.

“Many people see social media as a harmless and sometimes faceless place to air their opinions, however I hope this shows we will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will act when someone reports their concern about what someone is posting.”

He sentencing came just days before a man drove a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in north London. One man died and several others remain in hospital.

Sgt Allan said: “I hope the sentence acts as a deterrent and sends a reassuring message to those who may be directly targeted or are more widely affected by people’s use of social media to spread messages of fear and hate. I encourage people who witness such content, to report it to the provider of the social media platform, but such reports can also be made to us online.”

Brighton Argus

A DRUNK dad beat and stamped on his ex-partner ‘like an animal’ and sent threatening, Islamophobic messages after she took a Muslim lover.

Peter Finch was jailed for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court after he beat his ex in a drunken rage which left her with a suspected broken rib.

He denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm against girlfriend Rebecca Harding at her home in Worcester but was found guilty at trial.

The 31-year-old, who said he was a former member of the English Defence League, previously admitted criminal damage to a door and malicious communication which was deemed racially or religiously aggravated between July and October last year.

Finch of Patterdale Drive, Warndon, Worcester, carried out the assault in May last year after Miss Harding, his partner of five years, returned home from work at about 6pm.

Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said: “The relationship was characterised by this defendant becoming aggressive when in drink.

“It was clear he had been out at the pub during the afternoon and was suffering from the effects of drinking too much.

“He accused her of having an affair when she told him she had other plans for the evening other than going out with him.”

The attack happened in a bedroom where she had gone to get changed.

“She described the defendant flying in and punching her in the face.

“The blow with his right hand struck her right cheek. She saw it instantly swelling up. He pushed her to the floor where he held her by the throat.

“She told him she was unable to breathe but still he would not let her go.”

He was described as kneeling on her while he punched her repeatedly in the body.

Mr Phillips said: “Whilst doing so he said ‘this is what I would have done to him’, presumably referring to the man he believed she was having the affair with.

“He stood up. She was curled up in a defensive position, into a ball. She was on her side, exposing her right flank. He then stamped on her ribs.

“She cried out in pain. It was only at that point the defendant seemed to have any sort of remorse about what he had done, saying he was sorry.

“She describes him as behaving like an animal. She had never seen him like that before.”

Miss Harding suffered bruising and a suspected broken rib during the attack. She went to see her doctor and had her medication for depression ‘doubled’, Mr Phillips said.

When Finch learned Miss Harding had travelled to Marrakech and had a new Moroccan boyfriend he sent her a number of abusive texts and WhatsApp messages.

Mr Phillips said: “There was reference to enjoying her time in a burka, clear reference to her being with a Muslim man.

“He refers to himself hating Muslims with a passion and said ‘you were happy to marry a man who hates Muslims with a passion and would wipe them off the planet’. He says he hopes she gets killed.”

In interview he told police: “I was part of the English Defence League.”

Finch represented himself because he was not eligible for legal aid and could not afford to pay anyone to represent him.

He said his ex had sent him messages about sexual activity between her and her new partner. He said: “It was more than disheartening – it was soul-breaking when she sent that to me.”

He added: “I have not been part of the English Defence League for three years. Now my views are completely changed.”

Judge Nicholas Cole said the assault was aggravated because it took place in front of a child. Although the physical injuries were limited to bruising and a suspected broken rib, the emotional impact had been ‘severe’.

He said of the threatening messages that he was satisfied that they were partly motivated by hostility towards Muslims.

He sentenced him to 12 months in custody for the ABH, four weeks for the criminal damage and three months for the malicious communicated with an extra month added because it was religiously/racially aggravated (four months in total). These sentences will be served concurrently to the 12 months, making a total sentence of 12 months.

No separate penalty was imposed for breach of a conditional discharge.

Worcester News

hastie

An Essex woman was cautioned by police for bragging on social media that she had posted dog poo through her Muslim neighbours letterbox the night of the attacks on Paris.

At 8.53pm on November 13, Karen Hastie, from Grays, put messages on Facebook stating she sent the gruesome package to deliver “someone’s karma” after Islamic State terrorists killed 129 people in the French capital.

The 53-year-old wrote: “I just delivered someones karma. Mrs muz rat b*** face from yesterday has just got a jiffy envelope filled with dog **** through the b****** letterbox. I wish I could be fly on the wall. Imagine opening a package filled with ****. Happy days for sure.”

Friends of Ms Hastie commented with their support of her actions and encouraged a second rancid delivery.

The posts were added to other social media sites and Essex Police confirmed the posts had been passed to their hate crime team to investigate.

Essex Police issued her with a caution for malicious communications on November 23.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “A 53-year-old woman received a caution for malicious communications following her arrest on Tuesday, November 19, relating to reports of offensive Facebook posts.”

Ms Hastie is also said to have posted links in support of the English Defence League.

Essex Chronicle

hastie1