December 13, 2009

Police investigate alleged death threats over YouTube BNP video

Police are investigating a senior member of the BNP in Wales over alleged threats to kill a man who posted an anti-BNP video on a website

Roger Phillips, the BNP’s deputy organiser for West Wales, allegedly made the 12-minute expletive-filled telephone rant after he discovered the video about him on YouTube. Mark Watson recorded the call, in which Mr Phillips allegedly threatened to kill him, and handed it to police.

Avon and Somerset police said they had been in touch with South Wales Police and were investigating the complaint, which they described as “serious”.

Mr Watson, 46, an independent filmmaker living in Bristol, said he started getting phone calls from businessman Mr Phillips, 42, after he made an anti-racist video and posted it online. He said: “He started contacting me to tell me to stop making videos and telling me he would come and get me. When I found some more pictures of him and made them into another video, he phoned me and started shouting and swearing at me to take it down.”

One of the pictures in Mr Watson’s video included the BNP member’s 18-year-old son, and it was this that allegedly led Mr Phillips to make the death threats.

“He told me I had to take the picture of his son down,” said Mr Watson, who has subsequently removed the video from his YouTube page.

The threats, heard by Wales on Sunday, cannot be repeated for legal reasons because they could be used as evidence in court. But in one 40-second clip the caller, believed to be Mr Phillips, swore 14 times and threatened to kill Mr Watson twice. Mr Watson and his friend recorded it by switching his phone to speaker mode and recording the rant on a separate phone.

“My first reaction was ‘my God, I’ve got him now’,” he said. “But afterwards I realised this guy meant business and I really got scared.”

Mr Watson has kept a video diary of his life since the phone call, which was made on Tuesday December 1, and has posted it on YouTube, receiving thousands of hits in days. He is hoping to make a feature-length documentary about his experience after the police investigation and any subsequent court case is complete.

He added: “So many of my friends have been threatened by the BNP and they have backed down because they are scared, and I don’t blame them. But I wanted to stand up to them and show people exactly what they are. Since then I’ve been constantly bombarded with online messages and I’ve even been threatened again by somebody else, but I’ve also had a lot of support and that is really what’s keeping me going.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “A man has made a complaint to the police. This is a serious allegation and we are investigating.”

When WoS tried to contact Mr Phillips, his phone was switched off.

The BNP’s spokesman and deputy leader Simon Derby said he would not comment until the police investigation was complete.

Last month, WoS reported how Mr Phillips was forced to withdraw “racist” football merchandise following threats from top Premier League sides. His company Patriot Products, which was based in Ammanford, sold an extensive range of nationalistic memorabilia, including golliwog badges with the names of clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

Mr Phillips received numerous complaints from the clubs and the items were removed from the company’s website.

Wales Online

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