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William ‘Billy’ Charlton, of Washington, was branded a manipulative bully by a judge as he was locked up for stirring up racial hatred

Unrepentant racist bully Billy Charlton shouted at jurors “I hope your daughters don’t get raped” and gave his supporters the thumbs up as he was jailed for spreading his toxic lies in a series of public speeches.

Vile and manipulative Charlton hid behind the cloak of respectability of wanting to protect women and children from sexual assault but his true intention was to disseminate hate-filled falsehoods about immigrants, Asians, black people and the police.

The 55-year-old, of Byland Court, Glebe, Washington , was convicted on Thursday of five counts of stirring up racial hatred after a series of speeches in Sunderland.

He was brought back to Newcastle Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced and five members of the jury returned to watch the conclusion of the case.

After spending most of the hearing staring intently at them, he shouted the vile comment towards the four women and a man as he was led away to prison and was told by a judge: “Just leave Mr Charlton”.

He then clapped his hands and gave the thumbs up to his supporters in the public gallery, who clapped as he was taken out of the dock to start a 21 month jail sentence.

Judge Edward Bindloss told him: “Over this three-and-a-half week trial you have been revealed as an intelligent, articulate, skilled public speaker but also a manipulator and bully, in my judgement.”

The judge said Charlton had used an allegation of rape, kidnap and drugging by a female – which was investigated and which police found insufficient evidence of – to spread his racist lies.

“You propelled the campaign (for the female) with rhetoric and misrepresentation and, the jury has found, with racist hatred,” Judge Bindloss said.

Charlton had been warned by senior police officers the comments he was making about the female were wrong, counter-productive and doing damage to the community.

Despite the fact more than 80% of sexual offending in Sunderland was committed by white men, the judge said: “In the five speeches, you conflated all immigrants with rapes and sexually offending, thus peddling racist hatred basted around falsehoods.”

The five speeches took place between November 2016 and July 2017 and drew bigger and bigger crowds, forcing hundreds of police officers to be diverted from their usual duties.

At one event, 800 people were present, including 32 Hells Angels.

Judge Bindloss told him: “Time and again you associated immigrants with sexual offending. This is a pernicious form of racial hatred.”

The judge said freedom of speech is a “fundamental freedom” and told him Charlton: “This is not about politics, it’s about the law. I’ve sought to keep the law and politics separate.

“You are not on trial for your political views or being a member of any party.

“Even your anti-imimigration views, you are entitled to hold.

“The jury has found your speeches were intended to or likely to stir up racial hatred.

“The speeches contributed to a toxic atmosphere by you stirring up racial hatred.”

The court heard that while Charlton was not responsible for them, a number of race-hate incidents were happening in Sunderland around the time of the speeches.

An Asian family had a brick thrown through their window with a note attached containing racist abuse and signed “EDL forever”.

Racist graffiti also appeared and a man was arrested wearing a T-shirt with an anti-Muslim T-shirt slogan.

The court heard Charlton had a previous conviction from 2007 for racially aggravated harassment, for which he was fined.

During his trial, jurors were told about footage from a “white man march” on Newcastle Quayside at which Charlton spoke.

The footage showed other people chanting things such as “white power”, “Hitler was right” “sieg heil” and “keep it white”, the court heard.

At one of the events, Charlton appeared alongside far right extremist Tommy Robinson.

Charlton also made sickening references to the Grenfell Tower fire – saying “it’s not cheap cladding that raped (a female)” and adding it’s “immigrants who are a threat to our children”.

Glenn Gatland, defending, said Charlton had what he considered to be genuine concerns and frustrations which had “boiled over into what can only be described by the jury as racism” and had “overstepped the mark”.

Mr Gatland added: “It’s not a case like Abu Hamza where people are preaching outright hatred on the grounds of racism.

“It starts with a genuine complaint and concern. There are genuine concerns about what he perceives to be a cover up by the police, rightly or wrongly.”

Mr Gatland added that Charlton is “not in particularly good health”, had to give up work because of problems with his knees and will find prison difficult.

He added: “He is extremely upset his 92-year-old mother is not very well, she will not be able to visit him.”

After the case, Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, of Northumbria Police, said Charlton’s actions were an attempt to fuel “hatred and unrest” in the city.

“Freedom of speech is an important element of modern society which we all advocate, but spreading hate and racism is totally unacceptable,” Ch Insp Rennison said.

“Billy Charlton attempted to disguise his racist agenda under a cloak of respectability by claiming to want to protect the women of Sunderland.

“He knowingly targeted a number of ethnic groups and immigrants at high-profile marches in the city centre, and in doing so, stirred up hatred.

“He then pushed that personal agenda further by circulating misinformation on social media for his own gain.

“However, today his calculated behaviour and attempts to spread hatred and unrest in our community have been laid bare.

“We must do all we can to stamp out racism and the spreading of hate. As a Force, we are committed to tackling all forms of extremism which has the potential to threaten the safety and security of the public.

“I am glad that the jury understood and recognised the seriousness of Charlton’s crimes, and he must now deal with the consequences of his actions.”

The Chronicle

William ‘Billy’ Charlton, of Washington, pretended to be wanting to protect women but his true intention was to spread race hate

A vile protester is behind bars after he was convicted of stirring up racial hatred with poisonous lies during a series of public speeches.

William “Billy” Charlton, who spoke alongside far right extremist Tommy Robinson, hid behind the cloak of respectability of wanting to protect women from sexual assault.

But his true intention was to disseminate hate-filled falsehoods about immigrants, Asians, black people and the police, a court heard.

Prosecutors said his words sparked incidents of violence and damage by others attending the marches, including an occasion in which two innocent Asian men were attacked by a group of white men.

During his trial, jurors were told about footage from a “white man march” on Newcastle Quayside at which Charlton spoke.

The footage showed other people chanting things such as “white power”, “Hitler was right” “sieg heil” and “keep it white”, the court heard.

Charlton, 55, of Byland Court, Glebe, Washington , also made sickening references to the Grenfell Tower fire – saying “it’s not cheap cladding that raped (a female)” and adding it’s “immigrants who are a threat to our children”.

He was found guilty of five charges of stirring up racial hatred and faces a prison sentence.

He was remanded in custody ahead of being sentenced on Friday – despite pleading that he had a dog at home on its own.

During the trial, Sharon Beattie, prosecuting, told jurors about a number of speeches Charlton gave around the theme of the protection of women from sexual assault.

She said: “This was his cause and his motivation, as he described it, to protect women in Sunderland from rape and sexual violence.

“No one, one would hope, would argue against that but in reality, say the prosecution, this was an excuse because Mr Charlton is an intelligent man and a good speaker and this supposed cause was hiding his true intention under a cloak of respectability.

“His true intentions, say the prosecution, were to stir people up against immigrants, Asians, black people and the police.”

Miss Beattie said jurors would have to consider the issue of free speech but added that it is not free speech if it is an offence.

She told the jury: “Mr Charlton is not prosecuted for speaking in public, he is being prosecuted for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, intending to stir up racial hatred.”

The court heard that following some of the speeches, there were incidents of graffiti and property being damaged. One property was attack where it was believed a rapist lived but in fact others lived there.

In another incident, an Asian man who happened to live in a particular area, was attacked and when his nephew came to help him, he was also beaten up, the court heard.

Miss Beattie said: “This violence was from people who had been listening to the speech and were involved in a march which preceded it.”

The prosecutor said when one woman attended a demonstration with a placard saying “rape doesn’t have a race”, she had to be escorted away by police for her own protection because of the reaction of the crowd.

Charlton is said to have posted a picture of her on Facebook calling her an idiot.

Miss Beattie said the five charges “arise out of a series of speeches by Billy Charlton” which were streamed on Facebook and picked up by Rebel Media, “used by or linked to Tommy Robinson”.

The jury were told about one march in Sunderland , organised after allegations surfaced about three Turkish men, during which Charlton is alleged to have said: “Standing in Sunderland city centre feels like I’m in Bangladesh” and made reference to “imported rapists”.

In another speech he said “these people who are guests in my town raping and drugging our women, they are monsters, there’s something wrong in this town”.

The court heard Charlton denied being racist but, Miss Beattie said: “He said he doesn’t care about the colour of anyone’s skin but he doesn’t address any other issue other than immigrants.

“85% of people arrested for sexual offences are white in Sunderland – he doesn’t address that either.”

Charlton is also said to have criticised Northumbria Police, saying at one march, in reference to the force’s slogan “proud to protect”: “Proud to protect. Not your children, they are not. Not my children they are not. Who are they protecting?” The crowd responded: “Immigrants.”

Prosecutors say his verbal attacks on the police were designed to tell people the police couldn’t protect them so they had to protect themselves.

Referring to a Facebook post about an allegation made by a woman, Miss Beattie told jurors: “The prosecution say Mr Charlton was not genuinely motivated by concern in relation to these women, he was motivated by an agenda relating to immigrants.

“He was stirring up racial hatred.”

At another march, he is said to have told the crowd his and their children and women “deserve protection from these immigrants”, the court heard.

The court heard about comments Charlton is said to have made to a police superintendent, a month after the Grenfell fire, saying it was “not cheap cladding that raped (a female)”, adding “it’s immigrants who are a threat to our children.”

Miss Beattie said in May 2017, a young student in Sunderland city centre witnessed Charlton abusing Asian people, saying: “Get out of my Sunderland, get out, this is my country.”

The prosecutor told the jury: “There was no suggestion they were committing sexual offences so why would he be shouting at these two males.

“That, say the prosecution, is his real agenda.”

The Chronicle

A police officer whose team helped convict a man of inciting racial hatred during Sunderland city centre demos has said his actions were “totally unacceptable.”


William Charlton, 55, known as Billy, spoke at a number of public rallies between November 2016 and July 2017 after a woman reported she had been raped in the city.

Northumbria Police say that attempting to disguise his personal agenda under a “cloak of respectability”, Charlton used the demonstrations to attack ethnic minority groups and immigrants with racial slurs and insults.

Charlton denied five charges of inciting racial hatred but was today, Thursday, September 26, found guilty of all offences by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison said Charlton’s actions were an attempt to fuel “hatred and unrest” in the city.

“Freedom of speech is an important element of modern society which we all advocate, but spreading hate and racism is totally unacceptable,” Ch Insp Rennison said.

“Billy Charlton attempted to disguise his racist agenda under a cloak of respectability by claiming to want to protect the women of Sunderland.

“He knowingly targeted a number of ethnic groups and immigrants at high-profile marches in the city centre, and in doing so, stirred up hatred.

“He then pushed that personal agenda further by circulating misinformation on social media for his own gain.

“However, today his calculated behaviour and attempts to spread hatred and unrest in our community have been laid bare.

“We must do all we can to stamp out racism and the spreading of hate.

“As a force, we are committed to tackling all forms of extremism which has the potential to threaten the safety and security of the public.

“I am glad that the jury understood and recognised the seriousness of Charlton’s crimes, and he must now deal with the consequences of his actions.”

Charlton, of Byland Court, Washington, insisted throughout the three-week trial that he did not intend to stir up hate and is not racist.

He was remanded in custody following his conviction and is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court tomorrow morning, Friday, September 27.

Sunderland Echo

Renshaw, pictured at a National Action rally, was also jailed for 16 months in 2018 for four counts of grooming adolescent boys

A neo-Nazi who planned to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper has been jailed for life.

Jack Renshaw, 23, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, must serve at least 20 years in prison.

A judge at the Old Bailey said Renshaw, who earlier admitted preparing an act of terrorism, wanted to “replicate” the murder of Jo Cox.

Renshaw made a Nazi salute towards supporters as he was led to the cells from the dock.

He pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial to buying a machete to kill the West Lancashire MP and making threats to kill police officer Det Con Victoria Henderson.

A jury twice failed to reach a verdict on charges relating to his membership of banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

Sentencing him, Judge Justice McGowan said Renshaw’s “perverted view of history and current politics” led him to “an attempt to damage our entire system of democracy”.

She said: “You praised the murder of Jo Cox in tweets and posts in June 2017. In some bizarre way you saw this as a commendable act and set out to replicate that behaviour.”

The judge added Renshaw had made “detailed arrangements” and studied Ms Cooper’s itinerary.

The knife Renshaw bought was described by the online seller as offering “19 inches of unprecedented piercing and slashing power at a bargain price”

Giving evidence during his first National Action trial last summer, he said he wanted to murder the MP “to send the state a message”.

He got as far as buying a 19in (48cm) Gladius knife and told members of National Action about his plan during a meeting in a Warrington pub in July 2017.

The plot was foiled by whistleblower and former National Action member, Robbie Mullen, who was secretly passing information to anti-racism charity Hope not Hate, which informed police.

Police arrested Renshaw and found the machete hidden in an airing cupboard at his uncle’s house.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Cooper said it was “like something out of a horror movie”.

Friends and family had encouraged her to stand down from Parliament but she refused because “that would allow tyranny to prevail”.

After the sentencing, Ms Cooper said “justice has been served”.

Jack Renshaw wearing a mask at a National Action rally in Liverpool in 2016

Renshaw was also jailed for 16 months in June 2018 for four counts of grooming adolescent boys.

Det Con Henderson, who was investigating the child sex offences, said she “had sleepless nights” until he was arrested.

“I am not prepared to let Jack Renshaw ruin my everyday life,” she said.

The judge praised the two women and told Renshaw: “You have not defeated them.”

She said he had acted in a polite manner towards Det Con Henderson while planning to kill her in an act of revenge.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it presented evidence that persuaded Renshaw to plead guilty, including online research on cutting the jugular artery and how long it would take someone to die from the wound.

Jenny Hopkins, CPS head of counter terror, said: “Jack Renshaw was prepared to act on his white supremacist world view and plotted to kill a Member of Parliament – a plan reminiscent of the abhorrent murder of Jo Cox MP.”

Renshaw was also jailed for three years in 2018 for stirring up racial hatred in two anti-Semitic speeches in 2016.

BBC News

Lythgoe


Two men have been found guilty of being members of banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

Christopher Lythgoe, 32, of Warrington, and Matthew Hankinson, 24, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, were convicted after a trial lasting over five weeks.

Lythgoe was jailed for eight years and Hankinson for six.

Earlier in the trial, another man, Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancs, admitted preparing an act of terrorism after buying a machete.

He admitted buying it for the purpose of murdering West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.

A former National Action member, Robbie Mullen, warned the anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate of Renshaw’s plan, and they went to the police.

A total of six men were on trial at the Old Bailey, accused of being members of National Action.

Hankinson

‘Perverted ideology’

Lythgoe, the National Action leader, was found not guilty of encouragement to murder for allegedly giving Renshaw permission to kill Ms Cooper on behalf of the group.

Renshaw also admitted threatening to kill Det Con Victoria Henderson, who was investigating him for other matters.

Mr Justice Jay said group meetings after the ban were attempting to keeping alive an aspiration which was “truly insidious and evil: the idea that this country should be purged of its ethnic minorities and its Jews; that the rule of law should be subverted; and that once the ideological revolution had taken place this national socialist world view would triumph”.

Sentencing Lythgoe, he said: “You are a fully-fledged neo-Nazi replete with concomitant deep-seated, entrenched racism and anti-Semitism.”

The judge told Hankinson: “You too are a neo-Nazi who glorifies and revels in a perverted ideology, has a deep hatred of ethnic minorities and Jews and has advocated violence to achieve your objectives.”

Racial hatred conviction

Jurors were unable to decide either whether Renshaw had remained a member of National Action after it was banned, or whether two other men – Michal Trubini, 35, from Warrington and Andrew Clarke, 33, from Prescot, Merseyside – were guilty of the same charge.

Another defendant – Garron Helm, 24, from Seaforth in Merseyside – was found not guilty of being a member of the group.

It can also now be reported that Renshaw was convicted earlier this year of two counts of stirring up racial hatred in speeches he made in 2016.

National Action, which was founded in 2013, was the first extreme right-wing group to be banned in the UK.

It was proscribed in December 2016 after it was assessed as being “concerned in terrorism”.

Earlier that year, the group had celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a white supremacist, which the government said amounted to the unlawful glorification of terrorism.

BBC News

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

A 79-year-old woman who campaigned to be an MP and praised Hitler on a website blog has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred.

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, a self-confessed white supremacist and anti-Semite, stood as an independent in Stoke-on-Trent in June’s election.

She described Adolf Hitler as a good man and wished Great Britain to be “white only”.

She was found guilty of three charges at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

The jury found her not guilty of a fourth charge of publishing written material with the intent of stirring up racial hatred.

Judge Mr Recorder Julian Taylor said some of the articles contained the “most vile details” he’d ever read and that she should be “thoroughly ashamed” of herself.

Fielding-Morriss, of Stuart Avenue, Draycott in the Moors, Stoke-on-Trent, stood in a by-election in Stoke Central in February 2017 after the resignation of the then Labour MP Tristram Hunt and again in the general election last summer.

She polled just under 250 votes in both elections.

She is the leader and only member of the Abolish Magna Carta Reinstate Monarchy Party, the court heard, and she commissioned a party website she could blog on where she made the inflammatory comments.

In four blogs between September 2016 and September 2017, she included statements about how asylum-seeking Jews were like termites and made comments about mentally disabled migrant children, jurors were told.

Remarks ‘justified’

Fielding-Morriss admitted to police after her arrest she was a white supremacist, a fascist and an anti-Semite but denied stirring up hatred, saying it was to educate people.

Jurors heard she was not on trial for being racist or a fascist but for whether she intended to stir up racial hatred by publishing the comments.

Representing herself, Fielding-Morriss said her defence fell under freedom of expression, set out in the Human Rights Act, and the special defence of public good and being justified in the interest of science, arts, literature and learning.

Although she accepted several posts were insulting, Fielding-Morriss said had no reason to believe that publishing the remarks would constitute an offence.

Her final submission to the jury was: “Don’t mind if you find me guilty as I’ve done my best to save you from extinction.”

Fielding-Morriss is due to be sentenced on Friday.

She was told by the judge he was “strongly considering” a custodial sentence and she should secure herself legal representation.

BBC News



A CASTLEFORD man found to be a member of the now-banned neo-Nazi group National Action been jailed for four-years-and-three-months for posting racist and anti-Semitic messages.

Wayne Bell, age 37, of Mount Walk, Castleford, posted an image on a Russian social media site showing a man being hung by a rope with a Star of David on his forehead, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

In another post he described Jewish people as “destructive” and “vile”.

Prosecutors said Bell was also behind hate-filled graffiti.

A CPS spokesman said that Bell posted in August 2016, “The only way,” below a photo of a police officer’s foot raised above the head of an unarmed black man, lying on the ground.

The spokesman said that in late 2016 he posted a number of messages on Twitter continuing his campaign of stirring up hatred against Jewish and black people.

Bell was a prominent member of National Action before its was banned 18 months ago and he featured in two posters used in a recruitment campaign.

The spokesman said 13 videos were found on Bell’s mobile phone and featured an unseen man – believed to be Bell – directing others who were daubing anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas and references to the Holocaust.

A rucksack found at his workplace in Leeds contained National Action stickers.

Bell pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to two counts of stirring up racial hatred and three counts of possession of items with intent to destroy or damage property.

Last year he was sentenced to 30 months in prison after clashes between members of National Action and anti-fascist groups in Liverpool in February 2016.

Head of the Counter-Terrorism Division in the CPS, Sue Hemming, said: “Wayne Bell is a committed racist who posted messages on social media intending to stir up racial hatred against Jewish and black people.

“He was also behind graffiti that promoted his Neo-Nazi views and his deep rooted-hatred of all non-Aryan races.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Activity like this has the potential to both influence vulnerable people and threaten the stability of our communities by inciting hatred and threatening public safety and security.

“We will not tolerate any action which attempts to undermine or divide our communities and will continue to counter extremism and terrorism in all its forms.”

Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, district commander of Wakefield Police, said: “We welcome Bell’s sentence today for what are serious offences intended to cause to cause disharmony between communities, and I am very pleased with the investigation conducted by colleagues at Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

“The Wakefield district overwhelmingly enjoys good and positive relationships between its various communities and I am pleased that extremists such as Bell are in a very small minority indeed.”

Yorkshire Evening Post

A man from West Yorkshire who posted racist and anti-Semitic messages on social media and was behind hate-filled graffiti has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison today (23 May).

Wayne Bell, 37, posted an image on a Russian social media site in March 2016 showing a man being hung by a rope with a Star of David on his forehead. In another post he described Jewish people as “destructive” and “vile”.

Bell also had a hatred for black people and in August 2016 posted, “The only way,” below a photo of a police officer’s foot raised above the head of an unarmed black man, lying on the ground.

In late 2016 he posted a number of messages on Twitter continuing his campaign of stirring up hatred against Jewish and black people.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Bell was a prominent member of the neo-Nazi group National Action before its proscription and featured in two posters used in the group’s 2016 recruitment campaign. National Action was banned in December 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing items with the intent to damage property in relation to racist graffiti in and around his home town of Castleford. Thirteen videos were found on Bell’s mobile phone and featured an unseen man – believed to be Bell – directing others as to where and what they should graffiti. The majority of the graffiti was anti-Semitic including swastikas and references to the Holocaust.

When his home was searched police found two spray cans, cable ties, travel planners, and stencils identical to those in the videos. A rucksack found at this workplace in Leeds contained National Action stickers.

Sue Hemming from the CPS said: “Wayne Bell is a committed racist who posted messages on social media intending to stir up racial hatred against Jewish and black people.

“He was also behind graffiti that promoted his Neo-Nazi views and his deep rooted hatred of all non-Aryan races.

“Those who choose to behave in this way can expect to face the legal consequences of their actions, which can include going to prison.”
Notes to editors

Wayne Bell (dob 10/08/1980) pleaded guilty to:
Two counts of stirring up racial hatred contrary to section 19(1) Public Order Act 1986
Three counts of possession of items with intent to destroy or damage property, contrary to section 3 Criminal Damage Act 1971

Bell was sentenced to 30 months in prison on 24 November 2017 after being found guilty of an offence of conspiracy to commit violent disorder at Liverpool Crown Court. The offence related to disorder in Liverpool on 27 February 2016 which occurred when members of National Action, including Wayne Bell, and other right wing groups clashed with opposing factions.
Sue Hemming is the Head of the Counter-Terrorism Division in the CPS.

CPS

Police said he “crossed the line between free speech and the abuse of an entire group of people based on their ethnicity”

A 48-year-old man has been sentenced to a year in jail after making a speech aimed at stirring up racial hatred at a rally in Westminster.

Jonathan Bedford-Turner, of Rudgard Lane, Lincoln, was charged with inciting racial hatred on October 3 last year.

He was first arrested after making a speech in Whitehall with the “intention to stir up racial hatred” on July 4, 2015.

After pleading not guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on October 30 last year, he was found guilty on Monday (May 14) by a unanimous verdict at Southwark Crown Court.

He was jailed for 12 months but will serve half of the term in prison. He has been warned he will be at risk of licence recall if he re-offends.

Detective Sergeant Matt Hearing, investigating officer from Metropolitan Police’s Public Order and Resources Unit, said Bedford-Turner’s “intention was to stir up racial hatred”.

He added: “Bedford-Turner gave a speech in Whitehall that crossed the line between free speech and wholesale abuse of an entire group of people based on their ethnicity.”
Get West London

Jeremy Bedford-Turner called for England to be freed from ‘Jewish control’ at London rally

Jeremy Bedford-Turner. The prosecutor said that he was ‘obsessed’ with and ‘despised’ Jewish people. Photograph: Sam Blewett/PA

Jeremy Bedford-Turner. The prosecutor said that he was ‘obsessed’ with and ‘despised’ Jewish people. Photograph: Sam Blewett/PA

A far-right army veteran has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred after the Crown Prosecution Service was pressured to reconsider its decision to not bring charges against him.

Jeremy Bedford-Turner, 48, called for his “soldiers” to liberate England from “Jewish control” in an address outside Downing Street and blamed Jews for issues ranging from both world wars to Jack the Ripper.

The CPS declined to prosecute after an initial complaint but reconsidered the decision after a group brought a legal challenge at the high court.

Bedford-Turner now faces up to seven years’ imprisonment after a jury at Southwark crown court on Monday found him guilty of one count of stirring up racial hatred after two hours of deliberation.

“Nice knowing you, chaps,” he told his supporters before entering the dock.

The 15-minute speech was made at a rally against Jewish neighbourhood watch group Shomrim in Whitehall on 4 July 2015.

Bedford-Turner, who served for 12 years in the army, and speaks Pashtu and Arabic, told the crowd: “Let’s free England from Jewish control. Let’s liberate this land. Listen, soldiers, listen to me. It’s time to liberate our country.”

Dozens of his supporters attended his two-day trial. Under cross-examination, he admitted that he wanted all Jews to leave the UK.

Louis Mably QC, prosecuting, said the defendant was obsessed with Jewish people and that he despised them.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) previously said it took the “unusual step” of bringing a judicial review after prosecutors declined to charge Bedford-Turner after an initial complaint.

“CAA was partly motivated by a growing concern that the CPS is failing to take antisemitic crime seriously,” a CAA spokesman said.

The CPS then said in March last year that it would get a more senior lawyer to review the case, and decided to press charges.

The case of Bedford-Turner, of no fixed abode, was adjourned until Monday afternoon when the judge will decide whether to sentence him at a later date.

The Guardian