A British National Party supporter who launched a four-year race hate campaign against his neighbours has been jailed for possessing child pornography.
Nigel Hesmondhalgh from Hyndburn, Lancashire, was imprisoned for nine months at Burnley Crown Court after a series of degrading photos and videos of children were found on his home computer. Judge Simon Newell also ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. Hesmondhalgh, 37, had only just been released from a 30-week prison sentence for racially aggravated harassment imposed last March when police raided his home in November.
His computer was seized and found to contain no fewer than 29 indecent images of children, and 11 similar videos. Four of the pictures, and three of the videos, were graded at level four, the second most serious category of child pornography.
Police had obtained a two-year antisocial behaviour order against him before his release to prevent him from throwing dog dirt into his neighbours’ garden and using racist language towards an Asian family. In July 2009 Hesmondhalgh narrowly escaped jail after repeatedly abusing and insulting his Asian neighbours. He piled dog dirt up in the alley outside their home and told them: “It’s a white country, not a Muslim state”.
Hesmondhalgh, who had a BNP sticker in the window of his home, repeatedly picked on the wife of the couple and told the husband that he should be scared and shouted support for the BNP.
He admitted racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. Burnley Crown Court heard that he had almost 90 previous convictions and has been flouting the law since he was 11. At the time of the offence he was on bail for similar allegations which were left to lie on the file. He was given 36 weeks in custody suspended for two years with 18 months supervision and a requirement to attend the Thinking Skills programme.
Hesmondhalgh’s conviction follows those of two BNP members in November 2008 for sexual activity with 14-year-old girls. Ian Hindle and Andrew Wells gained further notoriety when they appeared in an investigation in The Times this week on grooming of young girls for sex by men of south Asian ethnicity. Hindle and Wells were two of the only three white offenders among the 56 on-street grooming cases the paper examined. The BNP said it expelled the two after publicity about their convictions.
Hope not hate