Joshua Bonehill-Paine 'stirred up hatred against Jews', court hears


A man charged with publishing material intended to incite racial hatred against Jews has heard the first part of the prosecution’s case against him.

Joshua Bonehill-Paine is an “extremist” who has expressed “virulently racist views in respect to the Jewish community,” a court heard on Monday.

The 22-year-old, of Yeovil, Somerset, was charged in the summer ahead of a planned neo-Nazi rally which he had been involved in organising.

Mr Bonehill-Paine, in a grey turtleneck sweater with stubble and slicked-back dark hair, sat staring straight ahead in the dock at Southwark Crown Court in central London.

Prosecution lawyer Mark Weekes told the jury that the defendant had included two images in a post he published on his website which were “insulting, threatening and abusive. You can be sure that hatred was likely to be stirred up by this post”.

Mr Weekes said that the post was “an encouragement to attend a demonstration which was planned for July 4 in Golders Green in north London. The event was referred to as an anti-Jewification event which was to liberate Golders Green as part of a summer of hate.

“Within that article were two posters which attendees were encouraged to print off. They were threatening and offensive. Attendees were encouraged to hate Jews.”

Mr Weekes explained that the first poster included an image of Auschwitz and a stereotypical Jewish man among some computer-generated weeds, with the accompanying text: “Liberate Golders Green: An anti-Jewification event. We’ve become complacent and allowed for weeds to grow in the cracks of London.

“It’s time to clear them out with round-up and liberate Golders Green for future generations of white people. Join us on July 4 for what promises to be an absolute gas!”

Mr Weekes said this message was “as inflammatory as possible,” that the poster “trivialises and mocks the death of millions of Jews during the Third Reich,” and that “the lightning bolt in the ‘O’ of Golders Green is believed to be a reference to the SS (Nazi Secret Police) logo.

“To super-impose that on an area with a large Jewish population is incitement.”

The lawyer then read out the prepared statement which Mr Bonehill-Paine had given to police upon his arrest, in which he wrote: “I do not believe I have committed any crimes, as what I have done falls within the remit of free speech.”

The defendant went on to call the poster involving Auschwitz and weeds “humorous,” and compared his actions with those of the writers of popular animated television shows South Park and Family Guy, saying that “there are a lot more offensive things said in a comical nature on those shows. This is on primetime TV and it is freedom of speech”.

After Mr Bonehill-Paine was arrested in June, police searched through his emails. The court heard how one email the defendant sent had suggested that “perhaps a civil war is looming, or a world war. If we don't take action we can say goodbye to independence.

“Pointing the finger at the Jew has proven suicide for many aspiring nationalists, but I must take a stand as I see Jews taking dominion over white folk. Activists are welcome to bring Israeli flags on July 4, as we will be destroying them.”

Mr Bonehill-Paine denies the charge against him and the case continues.

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