BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
BNP man guilty of hate campaign
Wilson arrives by taxi at Glasgow Sheriff Court
Wilson arrives by taxi at Glasgow Sheriff Court
A man has been convicted of inciting racial hatred in an area of Glasgow in the first case of its kind in Scotland.

David Wilson, 31, was found guilty of sending hundreds of hate-filled leaflets to people in Pollokshields.

The neighbourhood contains Scotland's largest Muslim community.

Wilson is the first person in Scotland to be convicted of the charge under the Public Order Act because it was found that he targeted one particular race.


The contents of the leaflet were insulting and abusive towards the Muslim community in Pollokshields

Sheriff Linda Ruxton

He posted the leaflets through doors in July 2001 while a member of the British National Party, shortly after towns in the north of England were rocked by major violence linked to racial tensions.

Wilson, of Leckie Place, Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, alleged in the leaflet that there had been attacks on white people in Pollokshields by members of the Muslim community and that the situation was likely to deteriorate.

He was found guilty by Sheriff Linda Ruxton of distributing "threatening, insulting and abusive" literature and stirring up racial hatred, contrary to the Public Order Act.

Sentence deferred

She said the claims in the leaflet were "inaccurate" and clearly targeted at members of the Pakistani community in Pollokshields, even though they did not explicitly say so.

"Despite its disingenuous drafting, the intent of the leaflet is clear," the sheriff told the court.

"Any attempt, if such an attempt there was, to circumvent the legislation and defeat parliament's intention has failed."

Sentence was deferred until 14 November for reports.

Wilson admitted distributing leaflets in the area after he was detained by police on 15 July last year following calls from concerned local residents.

But he denied stirring up racial hatred and insisted the leaflets were factual and aimed at promoting "harmony" within the community.

The court was told he and other BNP members formed a campaign group called Families Against Immigrant Racism and distributed the leaflet through as many as 4,000 doors.

'Affront to dignity'

Sheriff Ruxton went on: "The contents of the leaflet were insulting and abusive towards the Muslim community in Pollokshields.

"Comments of that nature, which had no founding in reality, represented an affront to their dignity and undermined their standing in the community.

"In the context of this case, the selective distribution in Pollokshields of inaccurate and threatening material containing anti-Muslim sentiment was clearly aimed at provoking ill feeling and hostility towards the Pakistani community."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Aileen Clarke reports
"This is a very important ruling"
Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


Background

TALKING POINT

FORUM

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

24 Oct 02 | Scotland
29 Aug 02 | UK
03 May 02 | Scotland
03 May 02 | Politics
16 Jul 01 | Scotland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes