Racist Liverpudlian who threatened to “slice up Muslims” is jailed

A thug who made a racist video threatening to slash Muslims and blow up mosques in the wake of the Manchester and London attacks has been jailed.

Merseysider Paul Hepplestall filmed himself holding a sword and a plastic grenade ranting against Muslims only two weeks after the Manchester Arena bombing and the day after the London Bridge attack. His hate video went viral on social media.

He said: “Yeah, you run in with bombs strapped to use and blow yourself up, where there’s a bunch of innocent kids. There is nothing terrorising about that. Let me tell you, I will get people to run in your mosques with pineapples [a reference to grenades, prosecutors said], blow your mosques off.

“Yeah, I will cut each one of your ears off with a sword, I will cut your fingers, your toes, I will cut you a thousand times until you bleed out.”

Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said Hepplestall recorded and uploaded the “horrific video” some time on June 4 and, within hours, police forces across the country were receiving complaints. He said Hepplestall was “aggressive and blunt”, adding: “It was particularly provocative and rather appalling in nature.”

Jailing him for 20 months, Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said: “On the 22nd of May of this year, a number of innocent people were killed and injured at the Manchester Arena due to the actions of a suicide bomber. Manchester and the rest of the country were appalled by this atrocity. But Manchester’s response was to kick back at the fear and hatred intended by this act, and (come) together.”

She commented on the video saying that it caused “fear, anger and distress” to Muslims across the world. She went on: “They all believed you capable of carrying out the atrocities that you speak of. Many have children and describe their fear that they and their children may be attacked as they go about their everyday business.”

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She added: “One would have hoped that hatred based on someone’s religious beliefs was something that we left behind centuries ago. Your words and recording are abhorrent to all civilised individuals.”

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