Feeds

Two jailed for online racism after US turned down asylum bid

Freedom of speech claim denied

Boost IT visibility and business value

Two British men who tried to claim political asylum in the US were jailed today for using the internet to incite racial hatred.

Simon Sheppard, 51 of Selby, North Yorkshire got four years and 10 months while Stephen Whittle, 42 of Preston got two years and four months. They were found guilty of 11 charges but the jury could not come to a verdict on seven others.

The two were originally arrested in 2006 but fled to the US. They arrived at LA airport and asked an official for political asylum believing they would get protection under US freedom of speech laws.

Instead they spent almost a year in Santa Ana City Jail in Orange County, AP reports. An immigration judge threw out their asylum application and recommended they be deported back to the UK.

Welcoming today's decision Adil Khan, Head of Diversity at Humberside Police said: “I welcome the decision by the jury to find Sheppard and Whittle guilty of a number of charges...Inciting racial hatred is a crime and one which seems to occur too regularly. This kind of material will not be tolerated as this lengthy investigation shows.

“These men were arrested in April 2006 by Humberside Police with the assistance of North Yorkshire Police and Lancashire Police and were charged with offences dating between 2004 and 2006."

The charge related to anti-semitic and racist material on a website the two controlled, which still appears to be available. The site published a Robert Crumb cartoon titled "When the goddamn jews take over America" alongside other less savoury material. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.