Neo-Nazis face charges of "soliciting murder" in Liverpool

Click Liverpool, UK/June 9, 2010

Two neo-Nazi members of the extremist Aryan Strike Force have appeared in court accused of soliciting the hate killings of Jews.

Trevor Hannington, 58, and Michael Heaton, 42, face a total of seven counts of "soliciting to commit murder", and "using threatening or abusive language likely to stir up racial hatred".

At the beginning of the hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, stocky shaven-headed Hannington entered guilty pleas on five further charges which he had previously denied.

These included posting vile, racist slurs on a website for violent extremists The Aryan Strike Force which read "Jews are parasites feeding off others" and "Jews will always be scum".

He also admitted posting copies of notorious bomb-making handbooks associated with terrorism on the website, which he administered, known as the "Anarchists Cookbook" and the "Terrorism Encyclopaedia".

Wearing a plain white t-shirt, Hannington, of South Wales, scowled in the dock as he admitted a final charge of circulating instructions for constructing a flamethrower out of a water pistol.

In a five hour hearing, prosecuting counsel Andrew Edis QC, told the court that co-defendant Michael Heaton had posted a string of threatening messages on the Aryan Strike Force website, which he ran with Hannington.

Mr Edis told the court that Hannington's obscene postings included messages that said:" Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew! Burn down the synagogue. Burn the scum."

Mr Edis described Heaton's alleged hate-filled postings.

They are said to include: "Jews will always be scum and must be destroyed" and "I would encourage any religion or race which wants to destroy the Jews, I hate them with a passion".

A further racist tirade is said to have said: "Black people have high sex drives and are more aggressive than all other species".

Heaton, of Manchester, denies soliciting to murder, and stood stony-faced in the dock sporting a large black scorpion tattoo on his neck.

His co-defendant, Hannington, also denies a similar charge of soliciting to murder.he offences are siad to have happened in January and April 2008.

After the seven remaining charges were read out, Judge Stephen Irwin QC reminded the jury, of seven men and five women, to put all prejudices aside.

He had earlier rejected defence requests that jurors should declare their ethnic and religious backgrounds before being sworn-in.

Reporting restrictions on publication of the addresses of the accused remain in place, for the protection of members of their families.

Trevor Hannington was remanded in custody. Michael Heaton had his bail renewed with the condition that he is barred from contacting members of the Aryan Strike Force or English Defence League.

The trial commences at 10am on Friday.

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