Community order for disbarred barrister over antisemitic blog posts

Southampton Magistrates’ Court: Conviction in November

A former barrister who was disbarred for antisemitic and racist tweets has now been handed a nine-month community order for grossly offensive antisemitic material posted on his blog.

Ian Robert Millard, 67, was convicted last November at Southampton Magistrates’ Court of five offences contrary to section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003.

Judge Peter Greenfield described the posts as “grossly offensive to Jews and a multiracial society”, as well as antisemitic and involving Holocaust denial.

Between May 2021 and April 2022, Mr Millard “persistently posted about his hatred of Jewish people online, while claiming he was simply exercising his freedom of speech”, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

“Statements made by Millard included that ‘there is nothing wrong with being antisemitic’, that England would ‘be a great deal better’ with more antisemitism and suggestions that the Holocaust was ‘fake history’.

“He also posted imagery which portrayed antisemitic conspiracy theories.”

The CPS said the blog contained “a continuous barrage of offensive material” which showed he was “not simply expressing his freedom of speech, but was engaged in a campaign of antisemitic hate, publishing grossly offensive material which breached the Communications Act”.

Sophie Stevens, deputy chief crown prosecutor with CPS Wessex, said: “This was a complex prosecution which required many hours scrutinising the masses of online content that Ian Millard deemed perfectly acceptable.

“In fact, what he posted were grossly offensive and criminal claims about Jewish people. It is particularly shocking that a former barrister, who is meant to engage the law in the pursuit of justice, would express such flagrant hatred.

Ms Stevens added that “antisemitism has a devastating impact on individuals and communities – we won’t hesitate to bring offenders of hate crime to justice” – but according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, it was only when the group successfully used the victims’ right to review scheme to challenge the CPS’s decision to take no further action that the case finally moved forward.

Mr Millard was disbarred in 2016 after a Bar disciplinary tribunal found his tweets to have been “seriously offensive”. He had not practised since 2007.

The CAA said it first reported Mr Millard to Essex police after he was disbarred, when its investigation of his Twitter account found that “he had tweeted a large quantity of opinions and images that were virulently antisemitic and promoted Nazi ideology”.

Twitter later shut the account down, ending the police investigation, but a new one began after the CAA provided Hampshire police with posts from the blog.

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