Man who allegedly wrote hate blog about Luciana Berger driven by 'fierce antisemitism', court told

Joshua Bonehill-Payne was described as a "committed proponent of antisemitic views"


A Labour MP was branded a "rodent" and an "evil money-grabber" in anti-Jewish blogs "littered with hate", a court has heard.

Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, was allegedly harassed online by Joshua Bonehill-Payne, a "committed proponent of antisemitic views", over a four month period.

The Old Bailey was told that Bonehill-Paine, 24, posted five "hateful and insulting" articles about Ms Berger and blaming her for the jailing of Garron Helm, a far-right extremist he regarded as a comrade.

Helm was jailed for four weeks after pleading guilty to sending a malicious communication by tweeting a picture of Ms Berger with a Star of David superimposed on her forehead accompanied by the words "Hitler was right".

Prosecutor Philip Stott told jurors:"The common ideology which so stirred Mr Bonehill-Paine is one of fierce antisemitism.

"Throughout the articles ... Ms Berger is referred to by Mr Bonehill-Paine as, for example, a rodent, as evil, a money-grabber, a dominatrix and responsible for the death of Jesus.

"Repulsive as they may be to you and me, I understand that Mr Bonehill-Paine is not likely to dispute that he made these remarks."

Four of the blogs were posted on The Daily Bale (Britain Against Left-wing Extremism), which Bonehill-Paine founded, and another on his personal website.

Each article makes antisemitic remarks about Jewish people, Jewish Labour MPs and their colleagues and Ms Berger in particular, the court heard.

Bonehill-Paine, of Yeovil, Somerset, denies racially aggravated harassment of Ms Berger between October 26 2014 and January 25 2015.

The first post was posted seven days after Helm was jailed on October 20 2014.

In a blog entitled "Racist Anti-White Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger Exposed", Bonehill-Paine allegedly accused the MP of "criminally instigating a campaign of personal hatred against British freedom of speech hero".

Bonehill-Paine went on to state that she must be "a dominatrix" with a "deep-rooted hatred for men" and her choice of partners makes her a "money-grabber", the court heard.

The blog was illustrated with three "offensive" images, including one of Ms Berger's face superimposed on a rat, the court heard.

In a second post on November 4 2014, Ms Berger, 35, was described as being part of a "new line of Jewish MPs" who are ensuring "that white genocide happens without fail".

An article days later was entitled "Zog (Zionist Occupied Government) attacks Daily Stormer in retaliation to a successful Berger campaign".

The far-right website was hailed for its "fantastically successful campaign against the Jewess" cited as "a battle between good and evil, white and anti-white".

On November 20 2014, the defendant went on to post "Joshua Bonehill-Paine: On the eve of battle" in which he is depicted holding a Union flag.

Referring to a court hearing for similar offences, he described a charge against him of "calling a Jewish pervert a Jew", jurors were told.

The final piece, on January 24 2015, was titled "The Legacy of Operation Filthy Jew Bitch".

Mr Stott told jurors: "It was, as such a title might suggest, the article which caused Ms Berger perhaps most distress.

"Within it, Mr Bonehill-Paine celebrates the 2,500 plus tweets which Ms Berger received as a result of the campaign and urged that 'veterans of Operation Filthy Jew Bitch should be on stand-by for future operations'."

Bonehill-Paine was arrested on February 13 last year.

On being charged, he allegedly said: "I am really pleased.

"This gives me an opportunity to be found not guilty, hopefully at a full Crown Court trial, with the media that will bring.”

Mr Stott told jurors: "Both the language and the imagery deployed in these articles are strongly offensive.

"You might think the message they convey is even more so - that Ms Berger is, through her membership of the Jewish faith and community, 'filthy', 'money-grabbing' and a 'dominatrix', 'evil' - in short to be detested.

"That she has gained her position through being 'put there' by other Jewish Labour MPs in the furtherance of an imagined 'white genocide' rather than, as is the real case, by being democratically selected and elected."

The prosecutor highlighted more examples of Bonehill-Paine's "passionate hatred of the Jewish community" in YouTube rants from the time.

A video posted in October 2014 encouraged people to back the FreeGarronHelm campaign.

Another the following January, called "The Jewification of Great Britain", talks of what he saw as the "foreign Jewish enemy", the court heard.

On October 28 2014, Bonehill-Paine admitted six charges of sending "malicious communications" and one of harassment over posts on Twitter and the Daily Bale alleging that several people were paedophiles.

He was on bail awaiting sentence for the whole period he is alleged to have harassed Ms Berger and was handed a suspended sentence in February 2015, the court heard.

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