UK Man Jailed for Anti-Semitic Tweet to Labor MP

Garron Helm, 21, sentenced to 4 weeks in jail for sending a “grossly offensive” anti-Semitic tweet to Liverpool Labor MP Luciana Berger.

Cynthia Blank,

Yellow star (illustrative)
Yellow star (illustrative)
Reuters

21-year-old British citizen Garron Helm was sentenced to jail for sending a “grossly offensive” anti-Semitic tweet to Liverpool Labor MP Luciana Berger, UK's Jewish News reported on Monday.

The tweet, published August 7, pictures a Holocaust-era yellow star superimposed on the MP’s forehead with the hashtag “Hitler was right”. 

Helm also reportedly called Berger a “communist Jewess” and wrote: “You can always trust a Jew to show their true colours eventually.”

Following the publication of the tweet, police searched Helm's apartment and found Nazi memorabilia, including a flag bearing the SS insignia. Material from British extreme right-wing group National Action was discovered as well.

Helm pled guilty to sending an offensive, indecent or obscene message and was sentenced to four weeks in jail. He is expected to serve half of his sentence. Helm was also ordered to pay an £80 ($129) victim surcharge to MP Berger after the judge delineated the offense as racially motivated.

Berger, described as being “deeply shocked by the entire incident," spoke regarding the sentence. "[It] sends a clear message that hate crime is not tolerated in our country. I hope this case serves as an encouragement to others to report hate crime whenever it rears its ugly head.”

Helm's lawyer, Mark Ellis, said his client was a lonely young man who found comfort among extremist "on the internet who he would call family and brothers." 

District Judge Andrew Shaw saw things differently, describing Helm’s actions as calculated and “extremely abusive and upsetting."

Helm, however, has apparently accepted responsibility for his actions, acknowledging the message was fundamentally wrong and sending a handwritten letter of apology to Berger. 

Regarding the verdict, Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “We welcome today’s guilty verdict which shows there is no place for purveyors of hate to hide. This ruling sends out a message to all those who use social media to send out antisemitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic and racist comments that it is unacceptable and that we are serious about ensuring that those involved are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”




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