Two Nazis – Michael Heaton from Wigan, Greater Manchester, and Trevor Hannington, from Cardiff in South Wales – have been sentenced to a total of
four-and-a-half years in prison for inciting race hatred.
Passing sentence, the judge said, “You wanted to start a race war.”
Heaton and Hannington were members of the neo-Nazi Aryan Strike Force (ASF).
They posted numerous racist messages on the ASF web forum. These included Hannington’s, “Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew, Burn the synagogues and Burn the Scum”.
Heaton posted more than 3,000 “obscene” and “inflammatory” postings the court heard. Jurors also saw images of Heaton making a Nazi salute on a demonstration.
The jury heard of Heaton’s admiration for Nazi leader Rudolf Hess and the piles of Nazi memorabilia and weapons that police found in his home.
Hannington was found to have posted instructions for how to make a flamethrower.
During the trial the judge instructed Heaton to refrain from any contact with members or supporters of the English Defence League (EDL).
Dr Matthew Feldman, who runs Britain’s only research unit on new media and domestic extremism at Northampton University, was the prosecution’s key witness.
He said, “We have had some evidence, I believe, of activists from the ASF appearing on videos at the English Defence League marches.”
According to Channel 4 News, “The two convicted today actually turned up at several of the EDL rallies and used their website to praise the EDL’s actions.”