BBC News: Neo-Nazis jailed over anti-Jewish internet posts

BBC News – Neo-Nazis jailed over anti-Jewish internet posts

Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 14:51 UK

Michael Heaton and Trevor Hannington Heaton and Hannington wanted to rid Britain of ethnic minorities

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 Cardiff, 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.

The judge told him: ‘You saw yourself as the leader of a potentially significant and active National Socialist group.
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You are a lonely man with little in your life

Justice Irwin Liverpool Crown Court

‘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, Cardiff, 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.’
Michael Heaton’s bedroom Heaton’s bedroom was adorned with Nazi flags and national front posters

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 numchucks, 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.’

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