Two jailed for inciting racial hatred online

Saturday 11 July 2009 00:00

Two men have been jailed after becoming the first in the UK to be convicted of inciting racial hatred online. Simon Sheppard, 52, was sentenced to four years and 10 months while Stephen Whittle, 42, was given a term of two years and four months.

The men printed leaflets and controlled websites featuring racist material, then fled to the US after being convicted of race-hate offences at a trial last year. On arrival their asylum application was rejected and they were deported back to the UK. Leeds Crown Court heard that Whittle wrote offensive articles which were then published on the internet by Sheppard. The published material included grotesque images of murdered Jews alongside cartoons and articles ridiculing a number of ethnic groups. Their right-wing output was based on the writings of other extremists such as the founder of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell. Judge Rodney Grant told the pair their material was "abusive and insulting" and had the potential to cause "grave social harm".