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Friday, 11 June 2010

Pair are 'proud to be neo-Nazis' (UK)

Two men "made it their life's work" to spread racist messages and encourage others to help them achieve their goal of "the eradication of ethnic minorities from Britain", a court heard today.

Michael Heaton, 42, and Trevor Hannington, 58, both "proud" neo-Nazis, are accused at Liverpool Crown Court of urging people to kill Jews.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting said: "Each of these men is proud to call himself a National Socialist, or a neo-Nazi in other language.

"Each is a member of an organisation called the Aryan Strike Force, whose goal it is to clear the country of all ethnic minorities, as they say, whatever it takes."

Both men deny that postings they made on a right-wing website solicited others to murder.

Heaton is standing trial over four comments he made on the Aryan Strike Force website (ASF) between January and April 2008.

The prosecution argue that his comments about Jews - "...they will always be scum, destroy 'em with whatever it takes", and "I would encourage any religion or race that wants to destroy the Jews, I hate them with a passion..." - encourage their murder, or at least stir up racial hatred.

In one post he wrote that black people are "less intelligent than other species", and in another that Jews are leeches and "treacherous f****** scum".

Hannington denies one count of soliciting to murder with the post: "Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew, Burn down a synagogue today!... Burn the scum...".

Mr Edis told the jury of seven men and five women there was no question over whether the defendants made the postings.

"That is undisputed," he said, referring to Hannington's post.

"It's what he wanted to achieve when he put that on a forum on a website that matters."

The panel was told that Hannington has already pleaded guilty to possessing information which may be useful to terrorists.
On Wednesday he admitted to owning the Anarchist's Cookbook, Kitchen Complete and The Terrorist Encyclopaedia, all of which are considered useful tools to someone preparing or committing an act of terrorism.
He pleaded guilty to inciting racial hatred with internet posts stating his beliefs that Jews were "parasites feeding on others" and "utterly evil sub-beings".

He also admitted publishing a post on the internet with instructions on how to make a flame thrower out of a water pistol.

Mr Edis said the guilty pleas should not persuade the jury that he is guilty of the count he stands trial over, but that it demonstrates he is "to be taken seriously", and has the knowledge of how to follow his comments through into practice.
The prosecutor said Heaton made more than 3,000 posts on the ASF website between January and June 2008, before he had a "bust-up" with the organisation and created his own, The British Freedom Fighters.

The website changed its name to Legion 88 and then Wolfpack, before it was closed down.

Mr Edis explained that the number 8 refers to the eighth letter in the alphabet, H. So 88 stands for HH, as in Heil Hitler, a common greeting for neo-Nazis.

Both men used a number of monikers when they posted their comments on the website. Heaton called himself Wigan Mike, and then later Lenny. Hannington gave himself the names Fist, Lee 88 and Paul.

The prosecutor said: "These are the descriptions they gave themselves. It's how they wish to be named."

The pair were in regular contact over the internet with two men who have now been convicted of terrorism charges, including possessing the deadly poison ricin, the court heard.

Jurors were shown chatroom conversations between them and fellow racists who called themselves Sweeney and Thorburn.

Sweeney was the moniker for Ian Davison, who set up the ASF website, and is now in prison. Thorburn is the name used by his son, Nicky Davison, now serving time in a young offenders' institution.

Mr Edis told the jurors they would be shown more logs of internet chat conversations between both men and their associates during the trial.

The prosecutor briefly showed the panel a collection of photographs found on Heaton's computer, as well as a video showing him training in a form of martial art.

He is seen kicking a training partner, and Mr Edis said more videos of him teaching his skills to others will be shown.

This, he said, shows he is not simply preoccupied by posting racist material on the internet, but is active in spreading his beliefs to other.

The trial continues.