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Simon Sheppard (born c. 1958) is a political activist from Hull, England. He runs a number of websites promoting the political views of the far-right. Much of the material on his websites also concerns his extreme misogyny which is not necessarily accepted even within far-right thought.

In 2008 he was arrested, charged and convicted of using a website to circulate "material likely to incite racial hatred." He and his co-defendant fled while on bail to the USA and sought political asylum. This was denied and they were imprisoned, pending their return to the United Kingdom on 17 June 2009.

On 10 July 2009, he was sentenced to 4 years and 10 months in prison. The sentence for publishing material on the Internet was described as "groundbreaking" by Adil Khan, representing Humberside police.

Career

Sheppard left his career as an engineer in the music recording industry to study at University. He obtained a degree in mathematics. He then became a writer and independent publisher.

He runs a website, heretical.com, devoted to publicising theories of "procedural analysis", racist theories and caricatures, holocaust denial and the inferiority of women. Despite lacking appropriate qualifications or membership of the British Psychological Society, Sheppard presents himself as a psychologist and claims to have applied game theory and evolutionary psychology to the analysis of competition between the sexes and between different races.

On 8 June 1999, Sheppard and David Hannam were arrested in Hull for distributing racist election literature on behalf of the British National Party. He was expelled from the BNP the same day (though not Hannam, who remains a senior administrator in the party). On 14 June 2000, Sheppard was convicted at Hull Crown Court of publishing or distributing racially inflammatory material. According to his own website, Sheppard has been banned from every public library in Hull, Hull University and Hull College "merely for expressing opinions".

Sheppard was the host of Redwatch, a far-right site that publishes photographs, names, addresses and telephone numbers of anti-racist campaigners from across the political spectrum but he was not responsible for any of the content uploaded to the site. In 2005, Sheppard's house was raided by police following complaints about allegedly 'racist' material published by his 'Heretcal Press'.[1]

In July 2008, Sheppard was found guilty of eleven race-hate charges. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a further seven charges. His co-defendant, Stephen Whittle, was convicted of five similar offences.[2] Sheppard and Whittle absconded from bail, took a ferry to Ireland, and flew to Los Angeles, USA. His website is based in Torrance, California, so Sheppard rejects English legal precedence over the published writings. After they demanded political asylum, the pair were put into Santa Ana Jail.[3] The Crown Prosecution Service pursued six of the seven undecided charges and Sheppard was found guilty of five of them at Leeds Crown Court on 8 January 2009.[2] On 24 March, the two appellants addressed the California court themselves before Judge Rose Peters. The judge reserved judgement until a later date.[4] On 5 April, with reasons still reserved, Sheppard and Whittle were denied asylum, upon which the former stated that they would not appeal.[5]

References

  1. ^ James Harper "Nazi Hate Site Boss is Raided" Sunday Mirror 1 May 2005
  2. ^ a b Mark Stead, "Simon Sheppard guilty of race hate crime", The Press, 9 Jan 2009. Accessed 19 Jan 2009.
  3. ^ "Holocaust deniers skip bail to claim asylum". Searchlight. August 2008. http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/index.php?link=template&story=237. Retrieved 2 Feb 2008.  
  4. ^ "Police close in on race hate duo".
  5. ^ "Race-hate pair rejected by US". The Jewish Chronicle. April 22, 2009.
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