BNP Duo to Face Race Hate Retrial

BBC News, Feb. 2, 1006

BNP leader Nick Griffin will face a retrial on two race hate charges after being cleared by a jury at Leeds Crown Court of two other charges.

Party activist Mark Collett, who was acquitted of four similar charges, will also stand trial again on a further four race hate charges.

Mr Griffin, 44, and Mr Collett, 24, had denied using words intended to stir up hatred in West Yorkshire in 2004.

The jury was sent home after failing to reach verdicts on all of the charges.

The Crown Prosecution Service later said it would proceed with a retrial over the outstanding charges.

After the end of two-week trial, Mr Griffin was met by supporters and said the outcome was a “tremendous victory for freedom”.

Their six speeches were filmed by an undercover BBC journalist for a documentary on the BNP.

Mr Griffin said the verdicts were a “fantastic day for the people of this country”.

He said: “This evening, millions of people in Britain will be holding their heads a little higher and walking a little taller.

“If the CPS feel they must continue to persecute us simply for telling the truth then we will see them in court.”

Legitimate dialogue

Mr Griffin, of Llanerfyl, Powys, had denied two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and two alternative charges of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred.

He was acquitted of one of each charge in relation to one speech, but the jury failed to reach a verdict in respect to a second speech in which he called Islam a “wicked vicious faith”.

Mr Collett, of Rothley, Leicestershire, denied four charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and four of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred.

He was acquitted of four charges, two of each, in relation to two speeches made at The Royal pub in Pudsey and the Falconer’s Rest pub in Morley, in which he described asylum seekers as “a little bit like cockroaches”.

The jury failed to reach a verdict over two other speeches, in one of which Mr Collett said “let’s show these ethnics the door in 2004”.

During the two-week trial, the defendants told the jury they were engaging in legitimate political dialogue about issues which concern ordinary working people.

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