Far-right extremist who threatened to kill Muslims jailed for two years

24th Aug 2018
Far-right extremist who threatened to kill Muslims jailed for two years

Jonathan Jennings pleaded guilty to 10 offences (Photo: South Wales Police)

Nadine Osman

A far-right extremist who threatened to kill Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and called for Muslims to be put on bonfires has been jailed for two years on August 8. Jonathan Jennings from Carmarthenshire, South Wales, targeted Muslims, the Jewish community as well as public figures and in a series of online posts between March and August 2017.

Among the messages posted on a social networking website GAB, the 34-year-old called for Muslims to be forcibly sterilised, suggested Hitler was born 100 years too soon and said all Muslims should be gassed. He went on to threaten the Jewish community, saying if they did not behave themselves they would share the same fate as Muslims

A jury at Swansea Crown Court heard he repeatedly called for the murder of all Muslims and told his readers it would be a “good idea” to have a “bomb a mosque day” which had been suggested by another extremist Nigel Pelham, who was jailed last year.

Jennings, who had admitted 10 counts of publishing material intended to stir up religious hatred and sending material with the intention of causing distress and anxiety, also threatened public figures. He called for anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to be executed as a traitor in March 2017.

A few months later he said if Corbyn became Prime Minister he would be first in line to “Jo Cox him” referring to the murder of the Member of Parliament by a right-wing extremist in June 2016. Soon after last year’s bombings in Manchester, Jennings changed his profile name to “Muslim Slayer” and described a racist attacker who kicked a pregnant woman in the stomach, causing her to lose her baby, as a “national hero”.

Sentencing Jennings, Judge Geraint Walters said his comments were “vile, venomous and words which would rightly outrage any decent human being”. The court heard Jennings had a number of church-going friends, prompting the judge to tell him it “shows how truly mixed up your views really are”.

Jennings ignored warnings from the police to stop, after a member of the public reported some of his comments and when told that officers wanted to interview him, he threw a brick at the police station in Ammanford. In a series of YouTube videos, Jennings, who has a degree from Lampeter University, portrayed himself as a plain-speaking commentator.

Thomas Scapens, prosecuting, said: “In his police interview he said it was his moral right to post these comments”.

David Singh, defending, explained that Jennings had been suffering from Asperger syndrome from a young age but at an earlier hearing, Judge Keith Thomas said a psychologist’s report had not diagnosed any particular mental disorder.

Deb Walsh from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Jonathan Jennings’ hatred of Muslims led him to post online messages stirring up animosity towards a whole community.”

She added, “He did not limit himself to expressing his views but called on others to indiscriminately kill Muslims and bomb mosques. Jennings also targeted the Jewish community and called for public figures whose views he did not like to be executed. The prison sentence reflects the seriousness of his crimes.”

In a statement to The Muslim News Detective Superintendent Jim Hall of the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit said: “We are committed to tackling all forms of extremism which has the potential to threaten public safety and security. Such was the strength of evidence of Jennings’ activities that he entered guilty pleas to all of the offences. There have been a number of successful prosecutions over recent years and this is a testament to the work of police teams up and down the country.”

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