Simon Sheppard (left) and Stephen Whittle now serving prison sentences in Britain
A racist man has lost his appeal against the UK's first conviction for inciting racial hatred
online. But the Court of Appeal in London did reduce Stephen Whittle's sentence of two years and four months by six months. Another man, Simon Sheppard, who was also convicted of inciting racial hatred, had his term of four years and ten months cut by a year. Whittle, 42, and Sheppard, 52, were jailed at Leeds Crown Court in July last year after they were charged, under the Public Order Act, with publishing racially inflammatory material, distributing racially inflammatory material and possessing racially inflammatory material with a view to distribution
. Whittle, from Preston, was found guilty of five offences and Sheppard, of Selby, North Yorkshire, was found guilty of 16. During their first trial in 2008, they skipped bail and fled to California, where they sought asylum claiming they were being persecuted for their right-wing views
, but were deported. The police investigation began after a complaint about a leaflet called Tales of the Holohoax,
which was pushed through the door of a Blackpool synagogue and traced back to a post office box in Hull registered to Sheppard.
What?! Conviction for inciting racial hatred? For publishing cartoons
ridiculing ethnic groups? But that is free speech! That is exactly
what the world is protesting for by defending Charlie Hebdo
and chanting "je suis Charlie"! Where is free speech if folks cannot publish offensive cartoons inciting racial hatred against minority groups?
Please excuse the sarcasm. But by these standards, the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo
should have been arrested long ago and convicted of incitement to hatred for their garbage. Now, instead, many of them are dead. Julius Streicher was executed
for his involvement of inciting hatred against the Jews in Germany. His work was fair game in Germany in the '30s. CH
's work is fair game now, in a time when Muslims are routinely demonized and we are heading to a repeat of the Holocaust. Only this time, it won't be Jews (ravings from nutty people like Netanyahu notwithstanding), it will be Muslims.