‘Send racist back to face justice’

6:30pm Thursday 17th July 2008

By Gerran Grimshaw

A NORTH YORKSHIRE MP today urged American authorities to send a man convicted of race hate crimes back to Britain so he can face justice.

Selby MP John Grogan spoke out after Simon Sheppard, found guilty of a series of race-related offences at Leeds Crown Court, absconded to the US and applied for political asylum.

Sheppard, 51, of Brook Street, Selby, and co-defendant Stephen Whittle, 41, of Sandown Court, Preston, Lancs, who were due to appear in court on Monday, but failed to show, have been detained by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service at Los Angeles Airport.

It is believed the pair travelled from the UK to Ireland by ferry before taking a direct flight to Los Angeles.

A Humberside Police spokesman said officers were now in liaison with the US embassy to confirm what would now happen to them.

“The two defendants failed to appear at court and a bench warrant was issued by the court judge and Humberside Police circulated an all ports warning,” he said.

“Information has been received to suggest the pair are now in the USA and are being detained at Los Angeles Airport.”

During the trial, the prosecution said Sheppard and Whittle were racists, who held what might be regarded as fairly extreme views about people who were Jewish, Indian, black, Asian or Chinese.

The offences happened between March 2005 and April 2006. The court was told that Sheppard’s website had attracted 4,000 visitors a day.

The pair were convicted of publishing racially inflammatory written material on a website.

Sheppard and Whittle faced further charges relating to allegedly racially inflammatory leaflets distributed in Selby district. On that matter the jury were unable to reach a decision.

The Crown Prosecution Service is now deciding whether to mount a retrial. A spokeswoman said the fact the pair had fled would not influence whether or not a retrial was held. The case is due to be considered further at a hearing at Leeds Crown Court on July 28.

Mr Grogan said Sheppard came to him for advice before his trial.

The Labour MP said after hearing some extremely bigoted opinions, he ended the interview and gave him some simple advice: “Get yourself a good lawyer”.

“Mr Sheppard came to see me at my surgery”, he said. “But after five minutes, having seen some of his leaflets and heard some of his very racist views, I ended our interview and told him to make sure he had a good solicitor for his defence.

“I’m confident the American courts will reject what to me are ridiculous claims of political asylum and despatch Mr Sheppard and Mr Whittle back to face justice.”

The above article is from the Selby paper 'The Press' and it's just been brought to our attention even though it was published a couple of weeks ago. This John Grogan is quite an obnoxious character, becoming an MP in 1997 when he took what was a safe Tory seat. Grogan is standing down at the next election, obviously due to the fact that he has virtually no chance of remaining as an MP due to boundary changes incorporating a solid Tory area into the Selby constituency. After making a hysterical attack on Simon Sheppard in this article, Grogan  goes on to say that Simon came to see him at his surgery. This is true but his version of events is quite different to what actually happened:

After I and another Nationalist visited our local MP, John Battle (Leeds West), to protest at the fact that Simon Sheppard (North Yorkshire resident) and Steve Whittle's (Lancashire resident) case was to be heard at Leeds Crown Court, West Yorkshire, yet the 'crimes' they were alleged to have committed were not alleged to have been carried out in Leeds, let alone West Yorkshire. We believe, sorry, we know, that Nationalists are regularly dragged before Leeds Crown Court even though their cases have nothing to do with Leeds (Nick Griffin, John Tyndall, Mark Collett, Colin Jordan, Tony Hancock to name but a few) because the Crown believe that they are guaranteed a guilty verdict from a compliant jury due to the racial make-up of the local populace with many Jews and other non-Whites living in the area. Obvious Mr Battle disagreed but said he couldn't really help anyway as Simon Sheppard was not a constituent of his and he should go to see his own MP, Mr John Grogan. One thing we did realise from this meeting was that Mr Battle, although being a self-acknowleged opponent of our Cause, seemed relatively honest for an MP and is obviously not a typical  example of most in the House of Traitors. That said, he did promise to investigate further and he promised that he would write back to us but neither of us heard a thing again from him.Another visit to Mr Battle is planned shortly.

We went to see Simon and after much persuasion he agreed to contact Grogan to seek his advice as his parliamentary representative but he was, quite rightly, very sceptical of the outcome. Simon wrote to Grogan and received a sarcastic reply saying it was a waste of time him meeting Simon as he didn't want to discuss 'Jewish Conspiracy Theories' and tried to put him off right up to the last minute with Simon receiving a letter from him the very day of the intended visit to his surgery.telling Simon he didn't want to see him. That evening, Simon, myself and the Nationalist comrade who accompanied me on our visit to Mr Battle arrived at the Selby community centre where Grogan's surgery was being held. There were a handful of other Selby constituents visiting their MP at the same time, probably to complain about blocked drains and uncut grass, and we were the last in the queue. The door to the surgery room opened and Grogan looked out as a constituent left. The look on his face was a picture when he saw that Simon was there. The half-dozen or so others were in and out of the room fairly rapidly and our turn came. We stood up as the couple visiting Grogan were leaving and two of Grogan's cronies appeared from another room and entered the surgery. We sat down on one side of a long table with Grogan and his two companions on the other. Immediately Grogan declared that he was not here to discuss 'Jewish Conspiracies'. Obviously, and neither were we. Our comrade had brought a list of points he wished to make to Grogan concerning the case against Simon (see below). Grogan pointed out that members of his family had fought against fascism in the 1940s. Mine and Simon's comrade pointed out that his grandfather had also fought in that war, indeed being awarded various medals for his services to which Grogan retorted "You say." Charming.

After point two in the list was read to Grogan he erupted shouting "Either you let me read that list myself or I'm out of here!" He was passed the list. Grogan glanced at it for a few seconds then screamed "That's it, Jewish Conspiracies, I'm leaving!" and he threw the sheet of paper back at our comrade and marched out of the room with his two friends following like lost puppies. One of Grogan's friends was handed the list and he took it with him.

To me, that meeting with John Grogan, the Right Honourable member of Parliament for Selby, is exactly what I've come to expect from our so-called 'elected representatives'. These people are, on the whole, the absolute scum of the earth, people who are only in Parliament for their own ends, whether it's for the money, the power or just because they relish being 'important'.

This is a friendly warning to you though Mr Grogan. You may think Simon and Steve are locked up thousands of miles away and most of your constituents neither know nor care about them but we will not forget these two comrades and we are committed to publicising their case and securing their release and the right of ALL the citizens of this nation to express their political beliefs without fear of imprisonment. You will be hearing from us again very shortly Mr Grogan; we still have the right to demonstrate against you and your ilk in Selby and as long as you are an MP you will not be allowed to forget the names Simon Sheppard or Stephen Whittle.

Kevin Watmough

The list of points Grogan didn't like:

Re: Crown persecution/prosecution of Simon Sheppard

1)   Sheppard has had numerous raids and subsequently been answering bail for YEARS.

2)   Whenever Sheppard’s defence stabilises, more charges are added.

3)   The charges follow very few themes, but excessive numbers of charges, both intimidate and send a message to a jury that here is a ‘wrong un’ and obligates them to convict.

4)   Similar cases to Sheppard’s have been inappropriately manipulated to be heard at Leeds Crown Court (Jordan – Hancock, Griffin – Tyndall – Collett).

5)   Sheppard’s case has no links to Leeds but nevertheless is to be heard in Leeds.

6)   Leeds has a very large Jewish population and the nature of the charges would make both court officials and jurors alike into a likely ‘lynch mob’. ‘Tales of the Holohoax’ is not an item to put before a Leeds court for a fair trial.

7)   It is usual for the Crown to move cases away from hotbeds of hostility not deliberately into the midst of one. Claiming to be unaware of this situation is like saying they believe Golders Green is full of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

8)   The prosecution Council is a member of Amnesty International who are notoriously prejudicial and hostile to political critics like Sheppard. The House of Lords threw out a Law Lords ruling because of a judge’s affiliations with this organisation. Such people should not be allowed near a case like Sheppard’s, still less at its heart! They turn prosecution into persecution.

9)   The Crown admitted in open court that the material was on the edge of legality and uncertain of legal infringement but still told, not advocated, not advised, not argued, but told the VERY TAME magistrates not to dismiss the charges. (Yet to see a Magistrate not be totally servile to some overblown ego dressed like a teacher in a public school, they no longer fulfil any meaningful decision making role and so continue to lose respect). It is on the edge of legality because it is on the edge of politics!

10)   The bulk of material, for Sheppard’s charges, has been around for years and in much stronger form.

11)   The Crown is indulging in censorship by the back door. The Internet is easily censored. A simple kiddie filter on the nation’s top half dozen ISPs will remove Sheppard and anyone else they don’t like from the bulk of British homes overnight. The Crown know this but lack the courage of their convictions so send Sheppard to prison instead.

12)   It is the World Wide Web and if Britain wants to opt out and provide a British Wide Web then that’s fine but let the rest of the world read what it wants, it’s really not the business of the CPS.

13)   Please remember that my fellow complainant went to prison for crimes he did not commit while his political opponents busily perjured themselves to get him put away and believe some of them were likely members of Amnesty International, so expectations of the CPS are correspondingly low.

14)   SCOTLAND: A complaint in Scotland with a whiff of entrapment/setup has arisen and means Sheppard now has to face two trials and given the 18 plus charges already facing him it seems timely to remind the Crown they are supposed to prosecute not persecute.

© 2008 British People's Party, BM Box 5581, London WC1N 3XX