Stoke-on-Trent BNP leader Michael Coleman in court over ‘racist’ blogs

Stoke Patriot

Stoke-on-Trent’s BNP leader posted racist articles on a website including claims the city was being “flooded with Muslims and blacks”, a court heard.

Former city councillor Michael Coleman has gone on trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court accused of racially-aggravated harassment. The 46-year-old was reported to police after two blogs he wrote in response to last summer’s London riots appeared online.

In them, he said the riots were a perfect example of “the difference in personality, perceptions and values of people of the darker races and ourselves”. And he accused Stoke-on-Trent City Council of “flooding this city with Muslims and blacks, a complete population replacement programme. Darkies in, whites out.”

Police were called in by Labour city councillor Joy Garner who had been asked to read the blogs by a member of the public.

Coleman, of Caverswall Road, Weston Coyney, admitted writing the entries, but denies intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Mrs Garner told the jury: “I couldn’t believe it. It really angered me. I felt real disgust.”

The blogs, which were posted by Coleman on on August 9 and September 12, were read out in court.

In the first he wrote about the riots saying: “London darkies have reacted with violence. The darkies have exposed their true nature in siding with criminality.” In the second, Coleman, who became a BNP councillor for Meir North in 2007 and lost his seat in 2011, criticised the council. Talking about immigration, the father-of-three wrote: “The ultimate outcome will be a city with no jobs, 100 mosques, a massive crime wave and thousands of very poor elderly folk.”

Following Mrs Garner’s complaint, Coleman voluntarily attended a police interview. He was later charged with intending to cause racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by displaying writing, a sign or other representation, which was threatening, abusive or insulting.

Giving evidence yesterday, former JCB worker Coleman said he used the website to express his personal views and communicate with BNP members.

Asked about the language he said: “We had been warned against using the word ‘black’ in the party. Instead of using that ‘darkie’ came to mind. It’s a good old English word, I’m a good old English boy. If people are offended I’m sorry.”

The jury was due to consider its verdict today.

The Sentinel, 5 September 2012

Update:  See “BNP member Michael Coleman guilty of racism charges”, BBC News, 5 September 2012

Update 2:  See “Stoke-on-Trent BNP leader Michael Coleman guilty of racist internet blogs”, The Sentinel, 6 September 2012