A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been convicted of committing a hate crime.
Mark Meechan, 30, recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as “gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil” by raising its paw.
But police were alerted and he was arrested for allegedly committing a hate crime.
The original clip had been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.
Mr Brown told the court it was wrong to focus on the phrase “gas the Jews” when it had been taken out of context of the whole video.
He claimed Jewish comedian David Baddiel had voiced his support for Meechan and had asked for him to walk free.
He added: “I can see that the video may not be to everyone’s taste.
“Others may be able to see the comedic or satirical element to it.
“The court should seek to acquit Mr Meechan for no other reason but to show it is 2018 and not 1984.”
Prosecutors had earlier asked for Meechan to be convicted and branded the video “an odious criminal act that was dressed up to look like a joke.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais took to Twitter to comment on the case after the verdict.
He tweeted: “A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed ‘grossly offensive’.
“If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive’, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.”
Serious question: would this have been viewed three million times if Meechan wasn’t prosecuted? He’ll probably end up with a Jordan Petersonesque book deal out of this.
Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police appears to have removed this from their page about Hate Crimes, at least for now: