Army-veteran finally convicted for antisemitic hate speech

Neo-Nazi leader Jeremy Bedford-Turner has been convicted after the CPS delayed the trial by over two years.

He is the frontman of the biggest racist discussion network in Britain and openly the member of a neo-Nazi organisation, but when it came to bringing charges against Jeremy Bedford-Turner, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dithered. 

Now the 48 year-old one-time military man has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred in a 2015 public speech where he urged his listeners to “free England from Jewish control.”

And the result is only thanks to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA). The group pressured the CPS to take up the case, after the initial complaint was dismissed.

During cross-examination Bedford-Turner’s views became all the more clear, as the fascist defended his position saying: “I would very much like [Jewish people] to leave England.” The main man behind the racist Forum Network later went into a bizarre claim about Jack the Ripper being a Jew.

Following the today’s hearing chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Gideon Falter, said:

“We are delighted by this result, Jeremy Bedford-Turner has been unanimously convicted by a jury of incitement to racial hatred. The real question is why the Director of Public Prosecutions and CPS got this so dismally wrong. Campaign Against Antisemitism had to battle the CPS in court since 2015 to force them to prosecute this case, but a speech that took us and a jury moments to understand as a clear-cut case of incitement, was repeatedly and wrongly dismissed by the CPS as not only not an offence of incitement, but not even a lesser offence. This was always a matter of basic law and common sense.

“The question now is why the CPS seems to demonstrate such incompetence in dealing with cases of antisemitism. Despite record levels of antisemitic crime, there are dismally few prosecutions of antisemites in Britain every year. Antisemites are becoming bolder and British Jews are losing faith in the authorities. The CPS must stop making excuses and prosecute antisemites with zero tolerance. If they do not, we will continue to hold them to account in court.”

Bedford-Turner was convicted of a 12 month sentence in prison after an unanimous decision by the jury.

Joana Ramiro is a reporter for Left Foot Forward. You can follow her on Twitter for all sorts of rants here.

 

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.