Men guilty of racial hatred after posting stickers at Aston University

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Four men have been convicted of inciting racial hatred after plastering a university campus with racist stickers and posing for a photo while performing Nazi-style salutes.

They were filmed at Aston University in July 2016, the same day as a Black Lives Matter march in Birmingham.

The men, from West Bromwich and Birmingham and said to be members of right-wing group National Action, had denied the charges against them.

They will be sentenced on 1 June.

Chad Williams-Allen, 26, from Tantany Lane, West Bromwich; Gary Jack, 21, from Heathland Road, Shard End; and two other men who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been on trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

The men, who were caught on the university campus’s CCTV, accepted posting the stickers but denied they incited racial hatred, claiming they were exercising their right to freedom of speech and expression.

A fifth man, Dean Lloyd, 27, also of Tantany Lane, West Bromwich, was cleared of the same charge.

The court heard one of the stickers, on an entrance sign, showed a white figure giving a Nazi-type salute and carried the words: “White Zone – National Action”.

Another read: “Britain is ours – the rest must go.”

A day after the stickers were put up, a message appeared on the Twitter account of National Action’s regional branch stating: “The fashy goys of National Action have hit Aston University campus.”

The stickers, posted on the evening of 9 July, were discovered by security staff two days later and reported to West Midlands Police.

The jury was shown texts and social media messages sent by Williams-Allen which included racist language – one of which included an image of a National Action sticker.

Other notes found at his home were of a racist nature, the court was told.

One of the other men, aged 23, was described as a “key influencer and organiser” of National Action and images deleted by a fourth man on his electronic devices stated: “Hitler was right” and “bring back apartheid”.

Det Ch Supt Matt Ward, from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “We are committed to tackling all forms of extremism which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.”

 

First Published 09.05.18: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-44061553

 

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