A man who admitted to stirring up hatred against Muslims on Facebook was sentenced yesterday at Bradford Crown Court.
John Hanson, 61, called on members of the public to attack Muslims in response to attacks across the world in a Facebook post in July 2016. A second Facebook post that month blamed Muslims for starting wars.
Hanson then uploaded a photo to Facebook of himself in a t-shirt which advocated for the destruction of Islam in July 2017.
He denied stirring up religious hatred but accepted that the posts were upsetting to others.
But when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court on 22 December 2017, he plead guilty to three counts of publishing material intending to stir up religious hatred, contrary to section 29C Public Order Act 1986.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years. Hanson must also undertake 300 hours of community service.
Sue Hemming, Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS, said: “John Hanson’s case is another example of people posting extremist messages on social media.
“This is a serious offence which harms community relations. Where there is enough evidence and it is in the public interest we will prosecute those who seek to stir up religious hatred.”
Our 2016 annual report included 311 verified reports of anti-Muslim abuse online. An overwhelming majority of abuse and race hate occurred on social media platforms.