Man fined over ‘Nazi pug’ hate crime

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Media caption Indicate Meechan believed his sentence fixed a “really, really dangerous precedent”

A man who filmed an animal dog giving Nazi salutes just before putting the footage on YouTube continues to be fined £ 800.

Mark Meechan, 30, recorded their girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, responding to claims such as “Sieg Heil” by increasing its paw.

The particular clip was viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube.

Meechan, of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, has been sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Courtroom after being found guilty of doing a hate crime last 30 days.

He had refused any wrong-doing and insisted this individual made the video, which was posted within April 2016, to annoy their girlfriend.

But Sheriff Derek O’Carroll found him doing a charge under the Communications Function that he posted a video on social networking and YouTube which was grossly unpleasant because it was “anti-Semitic and hurtful in nature” and was irritated by religious prejudice.

Image copyright Press Team
Image caption Meechan with his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha

Fining Meechan £ 800, the sheriff informed him: “The centrepiece of your video clip consists of you repeating the expression ‘Gas the Jews’ over and over again being a command to a dog which then responds.

“You use the control Sieg Heil, having trained your dog to raise its paw in response as well as the video shows a clip of the Nuremberg rally and a flashing picture of Hitler with strident music. A person say the video was only designed as a joke to upset your own girlfriend, whose dog you utilized, and nothing more.

“On the whole evidence.. I found this proved that the video you published, using a public communications network, had been grossly offensive and contained threatening, anti-Semitic and racist material. inch

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Media caption WATCH: ‘Nazi pug’ video-maker has no regrets

He added: “The fact that you claim in the movie, and elsewhere, that the video had been intended only to annoy your sweetheart and as a joke and that you failed to intend to be racist is of small assistance to you.

“A joke can be grossly offensive. The racist joke or a grossly unpleasant video does not lose its hurtful or grossly offensive quality simply because the maker asserts he just wanted to get a laugh. ”

Meechan was supported within court by by Tommy Johnson, former leader of far-right team the English Defence League (EDL).

Speaking after getting fined, Meechan – who content under the name Count Dankula – mentioned he would be appealing the phrase.

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Image caption Meechan waved to supporters when he emerged from court
Picture caption Supporters staged a totally free speech protest outside court

He looked after the video, saying the whole point from the “joke” was “the juxtaposition of getting an adorable animal reacting to some thing vulgar”.

Meechan stated: “This is a really dangerous preceding to set – for people to say elements and their context to be totally ignored and then they can be convicted for this.

“You don’t get to choose the context, other people don’t get to determine the context, the court chooses. That’s dangerous. ”

Image copyright PA
Image caption Tommy Johnson, former leader of far-right team the English Defence League, backed Meechan in court

There was a demo outside court by protesters declaring the case went against the principle associated with freedom of speech.

Comedian Ricky Gervais had delivered to Twitter to comment on the case right after guilty the verdict.

He tweeted: “A man continues to be convicted in a UK court of creating a joke that was deemed ‘grossly offensive’.

“If you don’t rely on a person’s right to say things that you will probably find ‘grossly offensive’, then you don’t believe within Freedom of Speech. ”

Picture copyright PA

Andrew Black, BBC Scotland Reporter, at Airdrie Sheriff Courtroom

Even before Indicate Meechan arrived for his phrase, dozens of free speech campaigners had been outside the building, protesting his chasteness.

Also present has been Tommy Robinson, ex-leader of the far-right English Defence League.

Inside, courtroom number two had been packed out as members of the public plus journalists sat poised to hear Sheriff Derek O’Carroll impose sentence.

Meechan’s lawyer told the particular court his client was a guy who enjoyed “shock humour” plus questioned why he was in the particular dock, given the number of famous comedians who incorporate lines about the holocaust into their acts.

Sheriff O’Carroll told Meechan he’d produced a deliberate decision to post unpleasant material in a place where any kind of member of the public could see it.

At the same time, the sheriff mentioned he was a first-offender with a reduced risk of committing further criminal offense – and that he’d learned through his experience.

Later on Meechan emerged from court rebellious – insisting all he’d carried out was exercise his right to free of charge speech.

He remaining vowing to appeal.