One of Britain’s most depraved, productive extreme right-wing anti-Semitic video streamers has been jailed for creating hateful content that has been viewed more than two million times.
Richard Hesketh, 36, had over 10,000 subscribers to BitChute, a video hosting service popular with far-right members and conspiracy theorists, where he wanted to upload morbid videos attacking the Jewish community.
Hesketh’s campaign of abuse led him to create an “alter ego,” known as George, in which he would dress up in a horrific caricature of a Jewish man using offensive stereotypes.
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While performing as George, Hesketh from Hollin Lane, Middleton, put on a false voice and used a variety of Yiddish expressions.
His horrific videos, which had garnered over two million views, were made in his extra bedroom and often paid homage to far-right terrorism and supported violence against Jews.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Hesketh first came to the attention of the authorities when the anti-Semitic charity The Community Security Trust (CST) contacted the counter-terrorism police to warn them about the videos uploaded to his profile on BitChute.
Officers raided his home and found “many” cell phones and SIM card packages, which contained a large amount of anti-Semitic images on the devices along with information about conspiracy theories.
Police said he showed no ‘remorse’ for his crimes and even went on to create videos after he was initially released under investigation after his arrest.
Dove, who approached him in court, said: “A significant part of the broadcast involved interaction with your audience and the continuation of extreme racist propaganda that aroused racial hatred towards Jews.
“This could have had potential consequences, which were completely inconceivable in both breadth and breadth.
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“This was a stubborn continuation of publishing this material, even when those who hosted this material said how unacceptable it was.”
The court heard that Hesketh had seen his content deleted from other social media platforms, but was continuing to create “the disgusting case” in an attempt to expand his reach online.
Justice Dove continued: “It’s early and you have to prove yourself.
“You’ve caused serious harm to your fiancé over many years, which I have taken into account.
“I find that the appropriate sentence is one of six years, which will be reduced to four years after taking into account the credit of your early culprit, for each of these seven charges to be served concurrently with each other.
“Please take him down.”
Following the sentencing, Crime Commissioner Will Chatterton of Counter Terrorism Policing North West said: “Hesketh shared as well as created hundreds of shockingly offensive videos and content on social media, which undoubtedly incited hatred against the Jewish community.
“In the police interview, Hesketh showed no remorse and even continued to upload offensive material to his social media channels after he was released during investigation.
“Hesketh enjoyed watching videos of serious attacks on Jews and even made comments that referred to his disappointment that the attacker in a video did not kill the victim, showing how corrupt his faith is.
“It’s dangerous to trade with this mindset on the internet, and at the same time it’s incredibly disruptive to our society.
“This case emphasizes that right – wing terrorism will not be tolerated in any form or form and we will do everything we can to bring these offenders to justice.
“I’m glad Hesketh will no longer be able to continue his campaign of abuse, and I really hope his time in prison is spent reflecting on his horrific behavior.”
Manchester courts are some of the busiest in the country with a wide range of cases being processed each week.
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Mark Gardner, CEO of The Community Security Trust, said: “Richard Hesketh was one of the UK’s most prolific extreme right – wing anti – Semitic video streamers, and his anti – Jewish hatred was seen millions of times by his online audience.
“We are delighted to have helped bring this anti-Semite to justice and we are grateful to Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their efforts to put him in jail.”
Williams, defense counsel, told the hearing that Hesketh was a man of former good character who had never been convicted of a crime before and his employer had given a very positive letter in support of him.
Hesketh had also written a letter expressing how much he regretted what he had done, but Mr Dove also noted that another report stated that the accused apparently had “very little empathy for the victims” affected by his crimes.
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