By Jenni Frazer
June 25, 2010
Two unlovely human beings, Michael Heaton and Trevor Hannington, have just been convicted at Liverpool Crown Court for a series of racially inciting posts on the internet, on their own warm and cosy Aryan Strike Force website.
Among their choicer comments: "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."
And: "Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew, Burn down a synagogue today! ... Burn the scum."
By anyone's standards these are inflammatory sentiments. And yet the pair got sentences of just two years, and two years and six months.
Call me cruel and unfeeling but in my opinion it's not enough. Not nearly enough. The jury agreed that they were not guilty of soliciting murder, which seems a moot point, but no-one would argue that Heaton and Hannington were anything but rabid antisemites. Apparently, however, although the judge could have given them sentences ranging from seven to 10 years, saying unspeakable things about Jews carries the prison equivalent of a smack on the wrist.
Almost certainly they will be out in a year to 15 months, still seething with hatred and no better disposed. Quite what do you have to do in this country to get a serious, meaningful custodial sentence for flagrant antisemitism?