Neo-Nazis sentenced to 4 and a half years jail at Liverpool Crown Court

Neo-Nazis sentenced to 4 and a half years jail at Liverpool Crown Court > National News > News | Click Liverpool: “Neo-Nazis sentenced to 4 and a half years jail at Liverpool Crown Court
by Simon Boyle. Published Fri 25 Jun 2010 12:17

Two Neo-Nazis have been sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years behind bars by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court, for inciting racial hatred.

Food packer Michael Heaton, 42, was handed a 30-month jail term for ‘using threatening and abusive language likely to stir up racial hatred’.

His co-defendant Trevor Hannington, 58, was sentenced to two years after admitting six offences and being found guilty by a jury of the same offence as Heaton.

Passing sentence Judge Stephen Irwin QC said: ‘You clearly intended to stir-up racial hatred on behalf of the organisation

‘In my judgement you saw yourself as the leader of a potentially significant National Socialist Group. You wanted to start a race war. You were clearly filled with racial hatred and you have certainly given that impression in court.

‘This offence is so serious and your character is so distorted by racial hatred that only a significant sentence will suffice.’

The judge told Hannington: ‘You are a long-standing racist and you have never hidden those views. You are a lonely man with little in your life.

‘You lived in a shambles. You habitually told lies in an attempt to gain status but it is clear that you are largely a fantasist.’

In a 12-day trial the court had earlier heard that Heaton idolised Nazi warlord Rudolf Hess and kept piles of memorabilia including swaztikas and a fearsome armoury of weapons.

Heaton was convicted on four counts of ‘using threatening and abusive language likely to stir up racial hatred’.

At an earlier hearing, Hannington, admitted six further counts of using threatening and abusive language, and possessing notorious terrorism handbooks ‘The Anarchists Cookbook’ and ‘The Complete Improvise Kitchen’.

The jury heard that both Hannington and Heaton published a string of vile messages on the Aryan Strike Force website, which the pair operated together, between January and June 2008.

Hannington, of Cardiff, South Wales, described as a lonely ‘Walter Mitty’ character, also admitted posting instructions for making a home made flame-thrower on the site operated from his home.

Heaton was found not guilty on two counts of ‘soliciting to murder’. Hannington was also found not guilty of ‘soliciting to murder’.

Hannington’s hate-filled postings include messages which read: ‘Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew, Burn the synagogues, and Burn the Scum’.

Heaton wrote, ‘Jews will always be scum, and must be destroyed, I would encourage any race who wants to destroy the Jews, I hate them with a passion.’

The court was also told of Heaton’s connections with other convicted neo-nazi extremists, including Mark Atkinson, who was jailed for five years in 2005 for publishing racial hatred in a right-wing magazine called Stormer.

Heaton’s relationship with another activist, named only as Maroney, was also described. Maroney is currently serving a life sentence after ‘fire-bombing’ the home of a Yemeni neighbour, before firing a crossbow wildly down the street, and for sexually assaulting his girlfriend.

The court heard that Heaton, who describes himself as ‘slightly National Socialist’, had expressed his anger at Maroney’s conviction on the ASF website, writing: ‘Life, for singeing a Paki’s grass!’

The court heard that Michael Heaton had made more than 3,000 obscene and inflammatory postings on the website under a string of pseudonyms while his co defendant operated under the aliases of Fist and Lee88.

During a search of Heaton’s home, in Greater Manchester, detectives unearthed large quantities of Nazi and Hitler-related material, and a vast array of weapons.

A copy of the Nazi dictator’s book, Mein Kampf, was also available to users of the website.

But in interview Heaton confessed that the man he really he idolised Hitler’s upper-class henchman Rudolf Hess.

Throughout the trial, jurors were shown evidence of the pair’s neo-nazi activities, including a series of videos designed for the training of extremists and activists which featured Mr Heaton violently attacking another man, in a demonstration of strength and aggression.

Further images showed 6 ft 2 inch Heaton at a Neo-Nazi demonstration in Manchester where he was seen making the Nazi salute.

Judge Irwin QC ordered the destruction of a cache of lethal weapons including knuckledusters, flick knives, and and scythes found at Heaton’s home in Greater Manchester.

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