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His Master's Voice

Here are some recent articles from 'His Master's Voice' (The Jewish Chronicle) that may be of interest to visitors of this site:

Race hate website man's jail release

Released: Sheppard

Released: Sheppard

A man jailed for inciting racial hatred online in a landmark case is being released after serving less than half his sentence.

Simon Sheppard, 53, was arrested in 2008 after police traced a leaflet called "Tales of the Holohoax," which had been pushed through the door of Blackpool Reform Synagogue, to a post office box in Hull, registered to Sheppard.

He was charged with Stephen Whittle, 44, from Preston, with publishing, possessing and potentially distributing racially inflammatory material.

Sheppard, from north Yorkshire, ran Heretical Press, a website which featured racist material, some of it written by Whittle.

Sheppard was found guilty on 16 counts in January 2009 after he was tried in absentia when he and Whittle fled to Los Angeles mid-way through the trial. In June that year they were deported back to Britain.

Sheppard was sentenced to four years and 10 months and Whittle to two years and four months in July 2009, but in January 2010 the sentences were reduced, Sheppard's by one year and Whittle's by six months.

According to the far-right British People's Party website, Sheppard will be released next week but will be banned from accessing the internet.

The BPP website also claims that Whittle was initially released last year but was allegedly caught on the internet in breach of his bail conditions and sent back to prison.

BPP COMMENT: We see the Jewish Chronicle have used the photograph of Simon from this site (taken by the BPP Leader) without our permission. Not that we're bothered, we hate Jewish 'copyright' legislation, but we hope they're not going to moan about us taking articles from their site.

Man gets 10 months for vile phone rants

A man who bombarded the Jewish Chronicle with hundreds of "vile, abusive and antisemitic" phone calls, has been jailed for 10 months.

William James Hannaford, 57, of Euston, who called JC staff "f---ing parasites" and "mosquitoes", was also given a restraining order after repeatedly calling the paper's central London offices.

Hannaford, who had long grey hair and a beard, had to be led from the courtroom after he shouted at the judge: "You call this British justice!" following his sentencing on Monday at the Old Bailey.

Hannaford's calls took place between March 22 and April 10 last year and were recorded and sent to the police.

Neil Moore, prosecuting, said: "Various employees at the Jewish Chronicle received many calls from the defendant which were extremely abusive and involved a number of antisemitic remarks." On one occasion, Hannaford called four times in 13 minutes, shouting for up to seven minutes.

Defending, Christopher Rodwell said: "When socially isolated and susceptible to psychotic delusions, Mr Hannaford is extremely influenced by what he reads and what people tell him. In addition, he drinks too much."

Jailing him, Judge Timothy Pontius told Hannaford: "Not all of the calls were made when you were affected by alcohol. I have read through the transcripts of all the calls and they are not unintelligible rantings. The words are clear. The terms of abuse are vile in the extreme".

'Jew' used as a term of playground abuse

Community leaders have raised concerns about a rise in non-Jewish schoolchildren as young as eight using the word "Jew" to insult each other.

Education workers have criticised schools for not tackling the abusive behaviour in the same way as other

One Jewish secondary school English teacher, who asked not to be named, said he had seen many cases of antisemitism in schools throughout London. He had witnessed pupils calling each other 'f---ing Jew' on a weekly basis in one north London school.

"I overheard some students saying that Jews would be the first and the quickest to go to hell," he said. "I was personally called a 'f---ing Jew', sometimes openly in class, at other times through written notes, and at times when I was alone in the corridor.

"I know that one Jewish teacher had a swastika drawn on her door. And at least two other teachers in different schools received hateful notes and drawings depicting Jews as devils.

"Sometimes these incidents were dealt with, sometimes they were not.

"The head of one school did make a call in the staffroom for teachers to pull up and note down antisemitic behaviour, but this was only done after complaints by members of staff.

"Racism against Jews is not taken as seriously as racism towards other groups."

A playworker in Somerset has complained about the "blatant antisemitism" she has heard from young schoolchildren.

Tamara Pollard, who works for a major children's charity, said: "I work in a mainly white area with virtually zero Jews.

"A few weeks ago a group of kids, aged about eight or nine were shouting antisemitic insults. They were calling each other "tight Jew". I asked the ringleader if he knew any Jews and he said he didn't, so he looked pretty stupid in front of his friends and I thought that was the best way to deal with it.

"Last week I heard children aged between nine and 11 saying 'scabby Jew' and 'f---ing Jew'. I was shocked to hear that kind of blatant antisemitism in the playground. I'm worried this is below the radar."

The Community Security Trust has held a meeting with the Department for Education on the issue. Last year, the CST reported 58 antisemitic incidents targeting Jewish schools, schoolchildren or teachers, but it does not report incidents among non-Jewish children.

CST's Dave Rich said: "Children using the word 'Jew' as a term of abuse in the playground has been reported to us more and more in the last few months.

"Non-Jewish schoolchildren using it among themselves is a new problem.

"We are trying to get a sense of the scale of the problem and ways in which it can be addressed. "

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said: "We are compiling a response to a DoE consultation on behaviour and discipline in schools. We will raise our concerns about this problem so that schools and teachers are better equipped to tackle any incidents of antisemitism."

Students' trial is delayed

The trial of two students accused of desecrating an Israeli flag has been adjourned until the summer.

St Andrews University students Samuel Colchester, 20, and Paul Donnachie, 18, face alternate charges of racially aggravated conduct or behaving in a threatening or abusive manner in relation to an alleged incident in March.

They appeared before Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife on Wednesday. A protest outside the court was held by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

It is alleged that the pair put their hands down their trousers and then rubbed their hands on an Israeli flag in the room of Jewish student Chanan Roziel Reitblat.

Lithuanian-born Mr Reitblat is based at Yeshiva University in New York and is spending one semester studying at St Andrews.

The SPSC called the charges against the pair "absurd" and compared the case to one thrown out by an Edinburgh court last year after five SPSC members interrupted a concert by the Jerusalem String Quartet.

<>The trial is now due to take place in August. Mr Reitblat will have completed his studies and returned to America, but will be flown back to Scotland to give evidence.

Racist car hooligans plead guilty

Two men who terrorised Jewish women and children with a speeding car while one of them screamed threats to kill Jews have been convicted of intentional harassment.

Aaron Hanson, 20, from Stalybridge in Tameside, near Manchester, pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court on Monday after two witnesses came forward to give evidence. He and Liam Martin, 21, also of Stalybridge, were in one of four cars seen driving erratically in Broughton Park, north Manchester, last March. After antisemitic abuse was shouted, witnesses followed the cars and alerted a traffic police officer who gave chase and arrested the two men.

Hanson pleaded guilty to one count of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress, which carries a maximum prison sentence of two years. He was heard shouting: "We are going to f--k up all the Jews," and "you f--ing Jews we are going to kill you all."

Martin pleaded guilty to a lesser public order offence and risks six months imprisonment.

Greater Manchester Police said they were not seeking the drivers of the other vehicles and were satisfied that the prosecutions dealt with the abusive behaviour.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This has been a very distressing case for those involved and we would like to thank the witnesses from the Jewish community for coming forward and providing statements to the police which has led to the guilty pleas from the defendants."

A Community Security Trust spokesman said: "This shows it is always worth reporting antisemitic abuse to the police and CST even if nobody was hurt. The police and CPS will take racist abuse seriously. We congratulate the witnesses for giving evidence which secured these convictions which will hopefully help to protect the community in the future."

Both men will be sentenced later this month.

Israel finally flies the flag over Bury

Around 100 people gathered to witness the first time an Israeli flag was raised over Bury Town Hall to mark Yom Ha'atzmaut, and it appears the event could occur annually.

The ceremony, on Tuesday, took place after it was first controversially refused by Bury Council in March, but agreed upon after it was pointed out that the Pakistani flag flew on its independence day. The then leader of the council, Tory Bob Bibby, called for a review of Bury's flag policy.

He indicated it was likely that only British flags would be flown in future.

But a political shift after last Thursday's local elections led to a pledge by the new council leader to fly Israel's flag. Labour took control of Bury Council by one seat in the nation's closest election contest, finally decided by the drawing of straws after three recounts.

After Monday's flag ceremony, new council leader Mike Connolly said he was proud of the Jewish community in his borough, adding: "I hope this could become an annual event in the calendar. Bury, like Israel, is a multicultural place and it's right and proper to celebrate that."

Northern Israel Information Centre director Doreen Gerson said: "I hope we can twin Bury with an Israeli town in the near future."

Jewish school pupils attacked on bus home

Police have promised additional patrols in Hendon after the assault of a group of Jewish pupils as they travelled home from school on Monday.

Several JFS pupils were left with minor injuries after four teenage boys climbed on to the school bus while it was stopped at traffic lights, then allegedly punched and struck passengers.

The boys fled when the bus driver intervened. Police said they thought the incident stemmed from a dispute or argument but were looking for witnesses to find out more.

Detective sergeant Becky Bird of Barnet police said: "What we really need is information from the public in order to bring these people to account."

She added: "The police schools' officers are in touch with the school concerned to ensure that police do all they can to reassure pupils."

Delay for miscarriage of justice appeal

A man who was jailed 35 years ago for the gruesome murder of a Jewish clothing shop owner is unlikely to have his appeal heard until next year.

Errol Clive Heibner, known as John, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1976. He was convicted of shooting Beatrice "Biddy" Gold in the storeroom of her family's business, but always maintained he was not guilty.

Critics have called his case "Britain's longest-running miscarriage of justice" and the case was referred to the Court of Appeal last year.

Today, Lord Justice Pitchford said documents related to the case should be released, as requested by Heibner's legal team.

However the extent of the information, including police notebooks and interview tapes, is such that Heibner's lawyers said the appeal would probably not be heard this year.

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