A British jury found a neo-Nazi guilty of racially-aggravated harassment on Wednesday (Dec. 7) after having written five hate-filled, anti-Semitic blog rants in 2014 against Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger.
Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 24, of Yeovil, Somerset, posted the diatribes online against Berger, 35, for four months, calling her “an evil money-grabber” and saying the number of Jewish Labour MPs was a “problem,” the BBC reported.
The attacks followed the October 2015 jailing of Bonehill-Paine’s colleague and fellow extremist, Garron Helm, 21, of Merseyside, who confessed to sending a picture on Twitter depicting the Jewish MP with a Holocaust-era Star of David on her forehead. Along with the picture was the hashtag, #Hitlerwasright.
While giving evidence, Berger said she feared for her own safety because “what happens online does not always stay online.” She added that she was the most concerned she had ever been about her personal safety since her election to the post.
Following the verdict, she told media, “The protracted campaign of vitriol and hate had a deep impact on me and on the people around me – my family and my fantastic team. If any good can come from this awful experience, I hope that it will send a strong signal to anyone experiencing harassment – you do not have to suffer in silence. I’d encourage everyone to report these crimes. Together we can show that they are not, nor will they ever be tolerated.”
The conviction of Bonehill-Paine followed that of neo-Nazi Thomas Mair, 53, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. This past July, a death threat was made by Mair against Berger, referencing that murder.
Bonehill-Paine is currently serving a prison term of three years and four months after being convicted in December 2014 for posting anti-Semitic material on the internet ahead of a planned neo-Nazi rally and march on the Sabbath through the London Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green.