Stoke-on-Trent BNP leader Michael Coleman guilty of racist internet blogs
STOKE-ON-TRENT’S BNP leader has been found guilty of racially-aggravated harassment after he posted articles on the internet.
Former city councillor Michael Coleman was convicted after a jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court took just over four hours to reach a verdict.
The 46-year-old was reported to police after two blogs he wrote in response to last summer’s London riots appeared online.
In them, he said the riots were a perfect example of ‘the difference in personality, perceptions and values of people of the darker races and ourselves’.
And he accused Stoke-on-Trent City Council of ‘flooding this city with Muslims and blacks, a complete population replacement programme. Darkies in, whites out’.
Police were called by Labour city councillor Joy Garner, below, who had been asked to read the blogs by a member of the public.
Coleman, of Caverswall Road, Weston Coyney, admitted writing the entries, but denied intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
But the jury decided he was guilty.
Councillor Joy Garner said: “I believe that this is the right verdict and it sends out a strong warning to those like the BNP who want to create fear and division.
“This is not acceptable to the overwhelming majority of local people, whose only wish is to get along with others, regardless of their background.
“I believe I was right to bring the complaint on behalf of the local people, who find this language both offensive and threatening.
“I’d like to thank the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for demonstrating that they take these kind of offences very seriously.”
The blogs, posted on Stokepatriot.blogspot.com on August 9 and September 12, were read out in court.
In the first Coleman wrote about the riots, saying: “London darkies have reacted with violence. The darkies have exposed their true nature in siding with criminality.”
In the second, Coleman, who became a BNP councillor for Meir North in 2007 and lost his seat in 2011, criticised the city council.
Talking about immigration, the father-of-three wrote: “The ultimate outcome will be a city with no jobs, 100 mosques, a massive crime wave and thousands of very poor elderly folk.”
Following Mrs Garner’s complaint, Coleman voluntarily attended a police interview.
He was later charged with intending to cause racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by displaying writing, a sign or other representation, which was threatening, abusive or insulting.
Coleman was released on bail and will be sentenced on September 28.
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said all sentencing options remain open.
Speaking after the verdict, Coleman said he was ‘explaining my views in the common language of the people of Stoke-on-Trent’.
He added: “This is England, and by God I’m going to use English words.
“If Joy Garner doesn’t agree with it then that’s fine, but for people to say this was an illegal matter raises serious questions.
“I’m not a racist and if I was I would say so.”
From This is Staffordshire 06.09.12