ONLINE TROLLS Sending threats to the judge? You really think this helps? Just stop it you morons...
Man found guilty of hate crime hopes police arrest ‘idiots’ after they aim tirade of abuse at sheriff
The Co a t b r i d g e man who filmed his girlfriend’s pet dog giving a Nazi salute has slammed online trolls who issued death threats to the sheriff who convicted him.
Mark Meechan, 30, was found guilty of a hate crime by lawman Derek O’Carroll at Airdrie Sheriff Court last month.
In the aftermath of the verdict Sheriff O’Carroll was said to be “shocked and alarmed” by an avalanche of online abuse – which culminated in someone saying he should be “exterminated” – for finding Meechan guilty.
Meechan – who himself received death threats when his controversial video went viral two years ago – branded Sheriff O’Carroll’s abusers “f****** idiots” and urged police to arrest them.
He tweeted: “Sending death threats to the judge. Are you f****** serious?
“You really think this helps? Don’t be so f****** stupid, think before you act like an utter moron. Stop it.
“I’m p***** off. What kind of mouth breather thought this was a good idea or funny?
“You better hope the cops find you first.”
Sheriff Derek O’Carroll, who regularly presides over cases at Airdrie Sheriff Court, convicted Meechan after he recorded pug Buddha responding to statements such as “gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil” by raising its paw during the footage called “M8 Yur Dug’s a Nazi”.
The controversial clip – uploaded in April 2016 – has received millions of views and following complaints about the content, police were called in and Meechan was arrested.
He denied any wrongdoing during his trial and claimed he made the video to annoy his girlfriend, Suzanne Kelly, 29.
But Sheriff O’Carroll found him guilty of a charge under the Communications Act that he posted a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was “anti-semitic and racist in nature” and was aggravated by religious prejudice.
The sheriff told Meechan: “In my view it is a reasonable conclusion that the video is grossly offensive.
“The description of the video as humorous is no magic wand.
“This court has taken the freedom of expression into consideration. But the right to freedom of expression also comes with responsibility.
“The accused is quite obviously an intelligent and articulate man.
“The accused knew that the material was offensive and knew why it was offensive. Despite that the accused made a video containing anti- Semitic content and he would have known it was grossly offensive to many Jewish people.”
Police are now investigating a series of disturbing online threats made against the sheriff in the wake of his verdict, with one person writing, “Exterminate this piece of s***” under a photo of the lawman.
Other sick comments included, “Sheriff Derek O’Carroll is pure evil”, “dumb idiot who actually needs to be punished severely for his crime against freedom” and “f*** this stupid guy”.
Reports revealed that court staff were contacted 40 times by 32 different people p within days of Sheriff O’Carroll’s verdict following an appeal from Twitter users encouraging complaints.
A Judicial Office for Scotland spokesman has confirmed they are “aware of some of the comments directed at Sheriff O’Carroll” and that “certain messages” have been reported to the police.
A police spokeswoman added: “We received a report of an offensive comment made on social media. Enquiries are ongoing.”
Meechan will return for sentencing on April 23 and speaking outside court after the verdict, the stunned first offender, said: “We are going to appeal. There has been a miscarriage of justice.
“I think it is a very dark day in regards to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
“The thing that was most worrying is that one of the primary things that has to be considered is things like context and intent and that was completely disregarded.
“For any comedians in Britain, be very, very worried about making jokes in future because the context and intent behind them apparently don’t matter any more.”
Both comedian and actor Ricky Gervais and former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, the latter attending court in support of Meechan, have backed Meechan – and slammed his conviction.
Gervais tweeted after the verdict: “A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed ‘grossly offensive’.
“If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive’, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.
“I f***ing hate religion. I’ve criticised and ridiculed it for 40 years. Yet if my government tried to ban it or criminalise it, I would march alongside those poor fools and fight hard for their right to believe any f***ing stupid nonsense they chose.”
Robinson added: “This is the intelligence services, this is the government, this is the police cracking down and silencing free speech on people who are not even allowed to tell jokes.
“As we’re in Scotland, Frankie Boyle has always said far worse.”