Nazi salutes given by two men to people protesting against a British National Party festival were a hostile act referring to genocide, a judge has found
Deputy District Judge John Miller made the point as he found Saville Davies and Hayden Gough guilty of racially aggravated harassment yesterday. He accepted that the pair were provoked by protesters at the party's annual Red, White and Blue festival, in Denby. But he said the salutes could not be seen as anything other than hostile towards the non-British and non-white people and "those associated with them" in the 1,000-strong protest group.
He said: "It (the Nazi salute) is a reference to Nazi party dogma, which, as we know, involved racial discrimination to the most extreme degree – that is genocide based on race."
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' court heard how, on Saturday, August 15, an argument started when protesters passed a small group of people in Codnor-Denby Lane as they walked away from holding a rally near the festival entrance. Between 10 and 15 people, including Davies, 25 and Gough, 18, were asked to move out of the way by police as the protesters approached.
When the protesters arrived Davies, who had a shaved head and was wearing braces and jeans, said he got into an argument with a man he believed threatened his son. The court heard how protesters shouted slogans like "Nazi scum" and "Master race you're having a laugh" and threw objects such as fruit. Davies, who was on his way to the festival at the time, said, as he moved away, the taunts got louder and he turned to give a Nazi salute.
Gough, who claimed he was following the protest "to get his face on TV", said he gave three Nazi salutes when interviewed by police.
Both were caught on CCTV taken by a police surveillance team. Davies was arrested at the scene and Gough was arrested later that day after officers had studied the pictures. In September, Davies and Gough pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated harassment. Yesterday, they pleaded guilty to behaviour causing harassment alarm or distress but continued to deny it was racially aggravated. They were found guilty of the earlier charge.
Both said they were not members of the BNP but Davies said he been to one party meeting. Davies, of Holywell Avenue, Codnor, was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £315, and Gough, of Church Street, Riddings, £390. Both were bound over to pay £250 if they caused harassment, alarm or distress to the public again within two years.