Man jailed over anti-Muslim Instagram posts alongside topless photos with gun

Jay Davison wrote ‘heil, heil, heil’ in a series of Instagram posts

Lizzie Dearden
Security Correspondent
Monday 23 September 2019 16:06 BST
Jay Davison admitted posting the photos but claimed he was drunk and did not mean to incite hatred
Jay Davison admitted posting the photos but claimed he was drunk and did not mean to incite hatred

A man who posed with a shotgun and urged people to “stand up” against Muslims has been jailed for four years.

Jay Davison talked about “Aryans” and wrote “heil, heil, heil” in a series of Instagram posts and comments that saw him convicted of stirring up religious hatred.

A photo showed the 38-year-old posing topless holding what appeared to be a large shotgun, with the caption: “F*** Allah”.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he shared a second photo with the fake weapon in August last year, and wrote a series of racist comments.

“Ever seen a white man cut a head off? No because they’re f***ing scum. Heil, heil, heil, heil, f*** Allah c***,” one read.

“When has an Aryan cut another man’s head off?” said another comment.

Davison, an electrician, was convicted of publishing material with intent to stir up religious and racial hatred last month, and cleared of two further counts of stirring up religious hatred.

Sentencing him to four years in prison on Monday, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said: “You posed with a firearm, stripped to the waist so people could see your tattoos.

“You then posted the photos to Instagram, together with a group of extremely offensive comments, intended to stir up racial and religious hatred.

“You obviously intended to appear as someone in possession of a working firearm.”

Davison claimed the shotgun-like weapon was fake but prosecutors said it had never been recovered and tested.

Jennifer Josephs told the court that Davison, of Rhiwbina in Cardiff, had refused to help police locate the firearm.

“We don’t know where [the gun] is,” she added. “I’m not seeking to argue it’s a live weapon, but we can’t accept what he says because your honour will recall in interview and at trial he declined to say who has the gun and where it is.”

Ms Josephs said despite the posts causing a “great deal of upset”, there was no evidence they had caused anyone to “take action and be spurred on” by them.

The posts were published on a private Instagram account with 394 followers last August, but the police were alerted after screen shots were posted to a WhatsApp group later the same day.

When Davison was arrested by armed officers days later, he admitted posting the messages after an evening of drinking but claimed he was not racist and did not intend to incite hatred.

He said that the photos were taken at a friend’s house with an ornamental gun but he refused to name the friend.

Sajid Javid on extremism, Trump and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

Hashim Salman, defending, said a pre-sentence report found Davison was “unlikely to hold views as part of a discriminatory ideology” and called his actions “impulsive”.

Mr Salman added: “He says he is disgusted and embarrassed with himself.”

The case comes amid heightened concern over far-right extremism, which police have named as the UK’s fastest-growing terror threat.

At a briefing last week, the head of UK counter-terror police urged people to report concerns about loved ones’ views to the Prevent counter-extremism programme.

“Anywhere along this spectrum [of right-wing extremism], people who are vulnerable to it can adopt part of that ideology to move into a terrorist act,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.

Statistics released by the Home Office showed that more than half of a record number of religiously-motivated hate crimes were directed at Muslims in 2017-18.

The number of people referred to Prevent over suspected far-right extremism has rocketed by 36 per cent.

British security services say Isis-inspired groups and individuals pose the biggest threat to the UK, but seven right-wing terror plots have been foiled since March 2017.

Additional reporting by PA

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in