A Hitler-loving radio host has today been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to eight counts of inciting racial hatred after action by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Following an investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism that was acted upon by Devon and Cornwall Police, Graham Hart, 68, of Penponds, Camborne, was charged earlier this year with five counts of incitement to racial hatred. The charges related to “using offending words or behaviour in a programme involving threatening, abusive or insulting visual images or sounds which was included in a programme service, intending thereby to stir up racial hatred or, having regard to all the circumstances, whereby racial hatred was likely to be stirred up.”
Three further charges were subsequently added following a further investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Mr Hart is an amateur singer-songwriter from Cornwall who has hosted numerous controversial figures on his online radio show, including the notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz, who was sentenced to eighteen weeks in prison in March of this year for offences committed during an interview with Mr Hart. Mr Hart also previously courted controversy after a local rugby team banned his music due to concerns about a Holocaust-denial song of his that was circulating on the internet.
An investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism revealed that Mr Hart repeatedly claimed that Jews are “filth”; questioned whether six million Jews were really murdered in the Holocaust; praised Adolf Hitler as “the greatest man of the twentieth century”; said that “is isn’t just the white people who hate the Jews…it’s everyone hates the Jews. Everyone”; claimed that the Jews “run everything”, are “evil” and are “not of this world”; and argued that the Jews have “got to go down, they’ve just got to go down”.
Among numerous other inflammatory statements, he said: “To be honest, I get more and more pissed off every day at what I find out about the Jews. It just gets worse and worse and worse. And I have to say the more I find out, the more I hate you and the more I spread the word.”
The three further charges arose from comments that Mr Hart made on this radio show in late December, including: “Let’s get rid of the Jews. It’s time for them to go…I’ve had enough of these people now … the chaos that they cause”; and “it’s always these same people that are behind everything. So, they’ve got to go. That’s the bottom line. How we’re going to do it…I don’t know”.
Other comments included: “I can’t think what else we can do. I don’t want to go with bloodshed but if that’s what it’s going to take, let’s get it done” and “I’m not armed….I wish I was. If anyone in the chatroom or any of the listeners want to send me a gun, it would be nice.”
Invoking another antisemitic trope, he also compared Jews to vermin, saying: “‘Ah but they’re children… they’re children.’ Yeah I know. They’re like a rat. If you’ve got a rat with four babies, you don’t kill the babies because they’re cute, aren’t they? You just kill the mother. Well, guess what. If you don’t kill those babies, if you just leave them, they’ll grow up to be big rats. So, I hope you go…you go as well. Screw you, you’ve taken too many of our people. We’ve got to start looking after our own.”
He has also said: “I’m a little bit over the top but I say wipe them all out” and “So, if you’re listening out there Mr Jew, we’re coming to get you.”
Mr Hart has also referenced Campaign Against Antisemitism, saying: “I’m involved with the Campaign Against Antisemitism. I’ve got my own little thing going on there and when I’m ready, I’ll pounce. And I’m not far from it either. I’m not far from it. I’ve had enough of these people, guys. Call them out. They run the bloody world and it’s got to stop. And we’ve got to stop talking. That’s why I say … Can we get organised?”
Mr Hart appeared in Truro Crown Court on 26th April for a hearing but was held on remand after refusing to engage with the court or appoint legal counsel. He subsequently did so and appeared on 7th June in Truro Crown Court for the pre-trial hearing, where he entered pleas of guilty on all counts.
Today at the same venue, Judge Robert Linford sentenced Mr Hart to sixteen months in prison, which comprises two years’ imprisonment on the first five counts and 32 months for the remaining three counts to run concurrently and of which he will serve half. He was also sentenced to a criminal behaviour order of ten years, prohibiting him from engaging in similar activities on the internet, as well as a forfeiture order allowing the police to destroy the equipment that they seized. The sentence reflects the one-third discount for Mr Hart’s guilty pleas.
Mr Hart’s counsel had argued that Mr Hart was a victim of reading things on the internet that he came to believe, and that his twelve days’ incarceration (while he refused to engage with the court earlier this year) brought him to his senses and that he no longer holds any of the beliefs he expressed. Judge Linford rejected these arguments.
The Judge was visibly angry as he delivered his judgment, telling Mr Hart that “you set out to whip up feelings of hatred of people of the Jewish faith”. He pointed out that Mr Hart’s activities continued while he was already under investigation, and the judge considered that this showed a total unwillingness on Mr Hart’s part to reflect on his behaviour. Judge Linford added that Mr Hart’s performance in interviews with the police was almost as bad as his radio shows, and that police found further troubling evidence of entrenched antisemitic feeling in his home. The judge determined that the offending was far too serious for anything other than an immediate custodial sentence.
Campaign Against Antisemitism wishes to commend Devon and Cornwall Police — and in particular officers DC Sean McDonnell and DI Daniel Massey — for their tireless commitment to seeing Mr Hart face justice.
It was regrettable that, once again, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was not nearly as proactive as the police in this case. It took an intervention by one of our honorary patrons, Lord Austin, for the CPS to issue charges thirteen months after the CPS received the file from the police. We do, however, commend the CPS for its diligence once it agreed to pursue the case, appointing the same counsel who recently prosecuted a neo-Nazi police officer in the Metropolitan Police.
In a statement, Detective Inspector Daniel Massey said: “The sentencing of Graham Hart brings an end to a lengthy and difficult investigation. Hart’s antisemitic views are completely unacceptable in every way and have caused considerable distress to the Jewish community and many other people over the years. His behaviour towards the Officer in the Case was also an issue at times and shows Hart’s complete disregard for anyone who dares to challenge his views or actions, however, I am grateful for the hard work, dedication and professionalism that brought about this conviction.
“I am also grateful to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which initiated this investigation and has remained positively engaged throughout a protracted enquiry. Additionally, I would like to thank the CPS for its support and guidance in prosecuting this challenging case. This sends a strong message to Graham Hart, and those who share these types of views, that antisemitic behaviour and all hate crime will be dealt with robustly.”
Nick Price, Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS, said: “Graham Hart used his position to influence people as a radio host to stir up racial hatred and incite violence against the Jewish race. I am pleased that he has been brought to justice and we have put an end to his abusive and insulting broadcasts. The CPS are committed to prosecuting hate crime and will continue to work as an independent body to ensure justice is served.”
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Thanks to the diligence of officers DC Sean McDonnell and DI Daniel Massey, who acted on our investigations, Graham Hart will be in prison and restricted from reoffending for the next ten years. The offences he committed constitute some of the most extreme hatred towards Jews that we have ever encountered. It is vital that the Jewish community is protected from this man, which this sentence achieves. It also sends a necessary message to like-minded people that hate towards British Jews will not be tolerated.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.