Nazi-saluting dog’s owner found guilty of hate crime

Nazi-saluting dog’s owner found guilty of hate crime

Markus Meechan charged with 'religious and racial aggravation' after he filmed his pet pug performing the offensive gesture

The Scottish owner of a Nazi-saluting dog has been found guilty of religious and racial aggravation and will be sentenced next month.

Markus Meechan had filmed himself training the pet to give Nazi salutes in 2016 in response to the phrase “Gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil,” then put the footage on YouTube, where it was viewed more than three million times.

In the video, he says his purpose is to annoy his partner, explaining: “My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is, so I thought I would turn it into the least cute thing that I could think of, which is a Nazi.”

Later, after the dog is seen ‘watching’ videos of Hitler, Meechan says: “I’m not racist.”

This week he was convicted of the hate crime in contravention of section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003, and of the religious and racial aggravations libelled along with the charge.

Meechan, of Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, denied wrongdoing, but was convicted at Airdrie Sheriff Court by Sheriff Derek O’Carroll, who described the contents of the video as “grossly offensive”.

O’Carroll added that the stunt was “racist and anti-Semitic,” adding: “The description of the video as humourous is no magic wand.” Sentence has been deferred by the court to 23 April.

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