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A man has been warned he could face jail for posting a Facebook comment about burning down a mosque in the wake of Lee Rigby’s murder.

Derek Phin, 46, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to posting the threatening and abusive remark on the social network last June.

British soldier Lee Rigby was off duty in southeast London when he was attacked and killed on May 22 last year.

Radical groups then tried to exploit the soldier’s murder resulting in attacks and protests against the UK’s muslim community.

Phin, of Aberdeen, admitted posting on Facebook that Edinburgh Central Mosque should be burnt down on July 2 during a counter demo.

The mosque was due to be packed at the time for a meeting organised by pressure group Unite Against Fascism in response to extreme right wing protests.

Fiscal depute David Bernard told the court that police had been tipped off to Phin’s comment which he put online on June 30.

He said: “On July 13 police received information that a comment of a racially motivated nature and thought to incite racial hatred had been posted on Facebook social network site on a page pertaining to the Scottish Defence League.

“One of the comments had been from a user account in the name of Derek Phin and had been posted on June 30, 2013 as part of a conversation about a Unite Against Fascism campaign to be held at an Edinburgh mosque on July 2.

“The comment attributed to Phin read ‘burn the mosque down when the meeting is ongoing’.”

Police confronted Phin at his home in Aberdeen on September 4.

He was taken to a police station where he admitted making the comment and stated he was a member of the Scottish Defence League. He was then cautioned and charged.

Defence agent David Sutherland said the mail-room worker had put the comment on Facebook as he felt that the men who committed Mr Rigby’s murder were being protected by the authorities in the aftermath of the attack.

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of the fusilier’s murder at the Old Bailey on December 19.

Mr Sutherland said: “The background involves the murder of Lee Rigby.

“This was his reaction to his perception of how the authorities dealt with the murder of Lee Rigby – his reaction to how the people were protected by the authorities for what they had done.

“He accepts that it was an entirely inappropriate comment. He has not used Facebook since he appeared in court.”

Sheriff Annella Cowan deferred sentence for the preparation of reports and released Phin on bail.

She warned him: “You should not use Facebook. You should be putting your affairs in order in case you go to jail. There will be no predeterminations but it is a serious consideration.”


STV

A man who used his Facebook account to post racist messages has been given community service.

Raymond Strachan, 21, used the social networking site to promote his support of fascist group the Scottish Defence League.

On Tuesday, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how Strachan visited various pages on Facebook and left various messages on them in an attempt to stir up racial hatred.

Strachan, from Edinburgh, started posting the messages in July 2011 and continued until he was caught in January this year. Police tracked him down after receiving complaints from other internet users.

The postings, made from his house and other locations in Edinburgh, abused various different racial groups.

Strachan was convicted of breaching the 1986 Public Order Act at a hearing last month.

Sheriff William Holligan him to 200 hours of community service.

Speaking after the case, the procurator fiscal for the East of Scotland, John Logue, welcomed the sentence.

Mr Logue said: “Police and prosecutors across the country take such offences extremely seriously. I hope this case sends a warning to those who think that offences committed on the internet are in some way immune from the reach of the law.

“Prejudice and hatred has no place in Scotland and we will continue to do all in our powers to eradicate it.”

STV

Heaton and Hannington wanted to rid Britain of ethnic minoritie

Heaton and Hannington wanted to rid Britain of ethnic minoritie

Two white supremacists who posted racist internet messages calling for Jews to be destroyed have been jailed.

Michael Heaton, 42, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, and Trevor Hannington, 58, from Hirwaun, described Jews as “scum” and encouraged people to kill them.

The self-proclaimed neo-Nazis were both cleared of soliciting murder. Heaton was convicted of stirring up racial hatred – a charge Hannington admitted.

Heaton was jailed for 30 months and Hannington for two years.

‘Race war’

Justice Irwin told Heaton his words were of the most “insulting and extreme nature” marked by “violent racism” and said only a significant jail term was acceptable.

The 42-year-old food packer admitted in a police interview that he was a founder member of the Aryan Strike Force (ASF), whose goal was “the eradication of ethnic minorities from Britain”, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

“Your sustained racist rants were intended to bolster that group.

“You wanted to start a race war.

“You are clearly filled with racial hatred and also with violent and angry beliefs.”

The court was told that Heaton had posted 3,000 messages on his ASF website between January and June 2008.

He wrote: “I would encourage any religion or race that wants to destroy the Jews, I hate them with a passion.”

In another posting he said Jews were “leeches” and “scum” and that black people were “less intelligent than other species”.

Hannington, from Hirwaun, Cynon valley in south Wales, was described as a loner by the judge, who told him: “You are a long-standing racist who has never hidden your views, which are violent and vicious in the extreme.

“You are a lonely man with little in your life.”

The 58-year-old builder admitted he was an administrator for the ASF website and one of his posts read: “Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew, burn down a synagogue today! Burn the scum.”

When police raided the homes of both men they found a whole collection of knives and firearms.

Heaton’s bedroom was adorned in flags with symbols of far-right movements, and a samurai sword hung above his bed.

Elsewhere around the house officers found nunchucks, batons, knives and knuckle dusters hanging on the walls, and a BB machine gun was also recovered.

Flags bearing swastikas were strewn around Hannington’s house and police found a personal armoury including an air rifle and daggers.

‘Anarchist’s Cookbook’

David Fish, mitigating for Heaton, said the defendant had been banned from accessing the internet while on bail and was no longer involved in the BFF.

He said: “Heaton has, in effect, shed the habit and lost interest in putting up these posts.”

Hannington’s defence claimed he was a “fantasist” and the jury’s verdict accepted the posts were made without a great deal of thought.

However, Hannington also admitted owning the Anarchist’s Cookbook, Kitchen Complete and The Terrorist Encyclopaedia, all of which are considered useful tools to someone preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

Mr Justice Irwin ordered the weapons to be destroyed, along with the defendants’ home computers.

Stuart Laidlaw, the Crown Prosecution Service’s Counter Terrorism Division lawyer, said: “As members of the ASF, Hannington and Heaton were closely associated with Ian Davison who was recently convicted of terrorism offences and of producing the poison ricin.

“They enjoyed similar links with his son, Nicky Davison, who was also recently convicted of terrorism offences.

“We considered this to be a very serious case and on the evidence presented to us by police, the public interest required a prosecution.”

The judge told him: “You saw yourself as the leader of a potentially significant and active National Socialist group.

BBC News