The Government has welcomed the jailing of a 21-year-old Nazi sympathiser for sending a “grossly offensive” anti-Semitic tweet to Liverpool Labour MP Luciana Berger, reports The Liverpool Echo.
Garron Helm send a tweet showing a Holocaust-era yellow star superimposed on the MP’s forehead with the hashtag “Hitler was right”.
When police searched Helm’s home they found Nazi memorabilia including a flag bearing the SS symbol and material from British extreme right-wing group National Action.
Helm referred to himself online as The Noble Wolf and used a Twitter account called Aethelwulf, which translates from Old English as Noble Wolf.
But in reality Helm was an immature loner who found friends online in extremist groups.
He pleaded guilty to sending an offensive, indecent or obscene message and was sentenced to four weeks in jail – though he is expected to serve half of this. He was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge to Ms Berger after the judge upgraded the offence to one considered racially motivated.
Liverpool Magistrates Court heard that Helm sent the tweet in a state of “anger and political frustration” in the early hours of August 7.
The tweet called the MP a “communist Jewess” and read: “You can always trust a Jew to show their true colours eventually.”
Ms Berger, the shadow minister for public health, was described in court as being “deeply shocked by the entire incident and the link to National Action, which she knows to be an extremist group”.
District Judge Andrew Shaw described Helm’s actions as calculated and “extremely abusive and upsetting”.
He added that the Nazi paraphernalia found in his house showed his true motivation for sending the tweet.
Mark Ellis, defending, described Helm, of Thomson Road, Litherland, Merseyside, as a loner with a troubled past.
The court heard that Helm was one of 11 children but the family had broken apart after his father died in a work accident and his mother had a mental breakdown, leaving him with no one to turn to except extremist “friends” online.
Helm, who was expelled from college in Southport earlier this year, accepted the message was fundamentally wrong. He also sent a handwritten letter of apology to the MP.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “We welcome today’s guilty verdict which shows there is no place for purveyors of hate to hide. This ruling sends out a message to all those who use social media to send out antisemitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic and racist comments that it is unacceptable and that we are serious about ensuring that those involved are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Berger said following sentencing: “This sentence sends a clear message that hate crime is not tolerated in our country. I hope this case serves as an encouragement to others to report hate crime whenever it rears its ugly head.”
A Community security Trust spokesman said: “Luciana Berger MP should be thanked for her role in this important case. CST welcomes the sentence and hopes it serves as a much needed warning to others.”