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'Nazi pug' man fined £800 for posting 'grossly offensive' video

'Grossly offensive' video was viewed more than three million times

    Meechan posted this picture on Tumblr of his Communist tattoo as proof of his opposition to racism
    Meechan posted this picture on Tumblr of his Communist tattoo as proof of his opposition to racism

    A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTubehas been fined £800.

    Mark Meechan, 30, - who recorded his girlfriend's pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as "Sieg Heil" by raising its paw – was sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Monday after being found guilty of committing a hate crime last month.

    Sheriff Derek O'Carroll had found Mr Meechan, of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, guilty of a charge under the Communications Act that he posted a grossly offensive video online.

    Fining Meechan £800, the sheriff told him: "The centrepiece of your video consists of you repeating the phrase 'Gas the Jews' over and over again as a command to a dog which then reacts.

    "You use the command Sieg Heil, having trained the dog to raise its paw in response and the video shows a clip of a Nuremberg rally and a flashing image of Hitler with strident music. You say the video was only intended as a joke to upset your girlfriend, whose dog you used, and nothing more.

    "On the whole evidence..I found it proved that the video you posted, using a public communications network, was grossly offensive and contained menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material."

    He added: "The fact that you claim in the video, and elsewhere, that the video was intended only to annoy your girlfriend and as a joke and that you did not intend to be racist is of little assistance to you.

    "A joke can be grossly offensive. A racist joke or a grossly offensive video does not lose its racist or grossly offensive quality merely because the maker asserts he only wanted to get a laugh."

    Mr Meechan – who was supported in court by Tommy Robinson, former leader of far-right group the English Defence League (EDL -  said: "This is a really dangerous precedent to set - for people to say things and their context to be completely ignored and then they can be convicted for it.

    "You don't get to decide the context, other people don't get to decide the context, the court decides. That's dangerous."

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