Race hate website man's jail release

By Robyn Rosen, May 12, 2011
Released: Sheppard

Released: Sheppard

A man jailed for inciting racial hatred online in a landmark case is being released after serving less than half his sentence.

Simon Sheppard, 53, was arrested in 2008 after police traced a leaflet called "Tales of the Holohoax," which had been pushed through the door of Blackpool Reform Synagogue, to a post office box in Hull, registered to Sheppard.

He was charged with Stephen Whittle, 44, from Preston, with publishing, possessing and potentially distributing racially inflammatory material.

Sheppard, from north Yorkshire, ran Heretical Press, a website which featured racist material, some of it written by Whittle.

Sheppard was found guilty on 16 counts in January 2009 after he was tried in absentia when he and Whittle fled to Los Angeles mid-way through the trial. In June that year they were deported back to Britain.

Sheppard was sentenced to four years and 10 months and Whittle to two years and four months in July 2009, but in January 2010 the sentences were reduced, Sheppard's by one year and Whittle's by six months.

According to the far-right British People's Party website, Sheppard will be released next week but will be banned from accessing the internet.

The BPP website also claims that Whittle was initially released last year but was allegedly caught on the internet in breach of his bail conditions and sent back to prison.

Last updated: 3:39pm, May 12 2011