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White supremacist jailed over antisemitic COVID claims

|News, Terrorism , Hate crime

A white supremacist who stirred up racial hatred by printing and delivering leaflets, and posting online false claims that Jewish people were behind a Coronavirus hoax, controlled the media and were evil, has been sentenced to more than eight years' imprisonment, with an extended four-year licence.

Neo-Nazi Matthew Henegan, 36, was convicted of the antisemitic crimes after a trial at the Old Bailey in November. He was sentenced today to an eight year and one month prison term with an extended licence period of four years. He was also made subject to a notification order lasting 30 years.

He had posted the offensive leaflets through the doors of residents of St Neots in Cambridgeshire in March 2020. When police investigated they also found the website with similar racially inflammatory content, swastikas and evidence suggesting he admired Adolf Hitler, describing him as a saviour.

They also found a document entitled ‘how to make armor piercing ammo’. Those bullets would have been useful for a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Nick Price, head of the CPS Counter Terrorism Division, said: "The vile and insulting language Matthew Henegan used showed the jury his desire to incite others towards the warped racial and antisemitic views he holds.

"Hate crimes - including antisemitism - have a corrosive effect on society. We will always prosecute where there is sufficient evidence to do so."

Notes to editors

  • Matthew Henegan [DOB: 24/12/1984] was convicted of:  
    • Possessing a document containing information useful to terrorism
    • Two counts of publishing written material with the intention to stir up racial hatred
    • Two counts of distributing visual/sound recordings with the intention to stir up racial hatred
    • Distributing written material with the intention to stir up racial hatred
    • Possessing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, with the intention to stir up racial hatred
  • The CPS Counter Terrorism Division is responsible for prosecuting all terrorism crimes and terrorist related offences in England and Wales. It also deals with incitement to racial and religious hatred, stirring up hatred based on sexual orientation, war crimes and crimes against humanity, official secrets cases and piracy and hijacking.

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