Disbarred barrister convicted over antisemitic blog posts


Southampton Magistrates’ Court: Conviction last week

A former barrister who was disbarred for antisemitic and racist tweets has now been convicted for grossly offensive antisemitic material posted on his blog.

Ian Millard will be sentenced early next year after Southampton Magistrates’ Court found him guilty of five offences contrary to section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003.

Each charge related to entries on his blog between May 2021 and April 2022. In one, he posted an image of an arm with a Star of David on the sleeve holding a hammer above a computer, with the words ‘free speech’ on it.

The accompanying text read: “Wherever Jews have power, non-Jews eventually become victims or slaves. Look at history. The ridiculous thing is that, in the UK, many of those who oppose Jewish supremacism in Israel or occupied Palestine, effectively support the Jewish lobby in Europe, eg in the UK itself; they pay lip-service to the ‘holocaust farrago’, in particular, and applaud the Zionist efforts to destroy free speech.”

According to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Mr Millard defended himself at last week’s trial and admitted to ownership and editorial control of the blog, but not to posting the offending material. He did, however, state that he agreed with all the sentiments expressed.

The CAA said Mr Millard attempted to portray himself as the victim of a Jewish plot to crush free speech and described the views expressed on his blog as “perfectly acceptable”.

His claims of Jewish control of politics and the media made on the stand are repeated many times on his blog, when Legal Futures viewed it yesterday, and he says that National Socialism is one of the political ideologies that has influenced him.

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

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.

However, it was only after the CAA last year successfully used the victims’ right to review scheme to challenge the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) decision to take no further action, that the case finally moved forward.

Stephen Silverman, director of investigations and enforcement at the CAA, said: “We are pleased that, after seven years, Ian Millard has finally been found guilty of these crimes. Holocaust-denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories have no place in decent British society.

“British Jews are under assault from antisemites in real life and online, and the fact that a former barrister could commit acts of anti-Jewish racism is utterly abhorrent.”

The CPS rejected criticism that it had been slow to prosecute, with a spokesman saying: “Antisemitic hate crime has a devastating impact on individuals and communities – we won’t hesitate to bring abusers to justice and we’ve prosecuted a string of antisemitic offenders in recent weeks.

“This was a complex prosecution – we worked with police to build the strongest possible case and we’re pleased to have secured a conviction.”

Mr Millard wrote on his blog this week that he would not comment until after the sentencing hearing.




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog


The path to partnership: Bridging the gender gap in law firms

The inaugural LSLA roundtable discussed the significant gender gap at partner level in law firms and what more can be done to increase the rate of progress.


Why private client solicitors should work with financial planners – and tell their clients

Ever since the SRA introduced the transparency rules in 2018, we have encouraged solicitors to not just embrace the regulations and the thinking behind them, but to go far beyond.


A paean to pupils and pupillage

To outsiders, it may seem that it’s our horsehair wigs and Victorian starched collars that are the most unusual thing about the barristers’ profession. I would actually suggest it’s our training.


Loading animation