A man who filmed a pet canine giving Nazi salutes before placing the footage on YouTube has been found guilty of committing a hate criminal offense.
Mark Meechan, thirty, recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Juggernaut, responding to statements such as “gas the particular Jews” and “Sieg Heil” simply by raising its paw.
But police were alerted and was arrested for allegedly carrying out a hate crime.
The original clip had been viewed greater than three million times on YouTube.
Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, went on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court where he denied any incorrect doing.
This individual insisted he made the video, that was posted in April 2016, in order to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29.
But Sheriff Derek O’Carroll found him doing a charge under the Communications Behave 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.
Sheriff O’Carroll told the courtroom he did not believe Meechan experienced made the video only to annoy their girlfriend and ruled it was anti-Semitic.
This individual also said he believed Meechan – who was supported at courtroom by Tommy Robinson, former chief of far-right group the The english language Defence League (EDL) – still left the video on YouTube to drive traffic to additional material he had on there.
He added: “In my notice it is a reasonable conclusion that the video clip is grossly offensive
“The description of the video since humorous is no magic wand.
“This court has taken the particular freedom of expression into consideration.
“But the right to independence of expression also comes with obligation. ”
‘Intelligent and articulate’
Sheriff O’Carroll said Meehan was “quite obviously an intelligent and articulate man”.
But he additional: “The accused knew that the materials was offensive and knew precisely why it was offensive.
“Despite that the accused made a containing anti-Semitic content and he might have known it was grossly offensive to a lot of Jewish people. ”
Ross Brown, defending, said Meechan had only intended the video to appear by a small group of friends and also to annoy his girlfriend.
He said the material have been leaked and gone viral yet Police Scotland then wrongly attacked Meechan despite his later video clips attempting to “set the record straight”.
Mr Brown mentioned: “His girlfriend testified that Mister Meechan had never made recognized to her any any anti-Semitic sights whatsoever.
“The arrested possesses both tolerant and generous views.
“His partner is in no doubt it was an example of their sense of humour. ”
Mr Brown told the particular court it was wrong to focus on the particular phrase “gas the Jews” in order to had been taken out of context of the entire video.
He stated Jewish comedian David Baddiel acquired voiced his support for Meechan and had asked for him to stroll free.
He additional: “I can see that the video might not be to everyone’s taste.
“Others may be able to see the comedy or satirical element to it.
“The court should look for to acquit Mr Meechan just for no other reason but to show it really is 2018 and not 1984. ”
Prosecutors had earlier requested Meechan to be convicted and top quality the video “an odious criminal take action that was dressed up to look like a laugh. ”
Comedian Ough Gervais took to Twitter to discuss the case after 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. ”