July 15, 2008
Posted by Antifascist
Stephen Whittle penned five offensive articles which appeared on the Internet, a jury was told. The unemployed 41-year-old, of Avenham Lane, Avenham, Preston, was found guilty of publishing racially inflammatory written material, and four similar charges.
A seven-week trial at Leeds Crown Court heard that Whittle wrote five offensive articles which later appeared on a website run by co-defendant Simon Sheppard, 51, of Brook Street in Selby, North Yorkshire. Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford told the jury that Whittle used the pseudonym Luke O'Farrell for the articles, which were posted on the web between March 2005 and January 2006.
The articles were either threatening, insulting or abusive and may have been intended to stir up racial hatred, Mr Sandiford added. Previously, Mr Sandiford told the jury that Sheppard and Whittle held what they may regard as fairly extreme views about people who were Jewish, black, Asian, Chinese, Indian and, in reality, anyone who was not white.
He said: "People in this country are entitled to be racist and they are entitled to hold unpleasant points of view, but what they aren't entitled to do is publish or distribute written material which is insulting, threatening or abusive and is intended to stir up racial hatred or is likely to do so."
The court heard Sheppard's website attracts 4,000 visitors a day. Other articles on the same site included one written during the 1960s by the leader of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell.
Giving evidence, Whittle said the articles were not a "call to arms" but an attempt to "satirise political correctness, to turn it on its head". Sheppard was found guilty of 11 counts of publishing racially inflammatory written material.
He may face a retrial, however, as the jury were unable to reach verdicts on seven further charges. Whittle and Sheppard are next due to appear at Leeds Crown Court on July 28.
Lancashire Evening Post