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Neo-Nazi Jailed for Leaflets Admiring Hitler and Blaming Jews for ‘Covid Hoax’

Matthew Henegan, 37, started posting antisemitic content on the internet when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the UK in March 2020.

He repeatedly used a ‘grossly offensive’ term for Jewish people and spread conspiracy theories about them ‘controlling’ the news and ‘lying’ about Covid-19.

In one document he uploaded online, Hennegan said the terror attack at Fishmongers’ Hall on London Bridge – in which two innocent people were killed – was ‘set up’ by a propaganda machine.

But Henegan only came to the police’s attention after people in his hometown – St Neots in Cambridgeshire – reported antisemitic leaflets being pushed through their letterboxes last March.

The leaflets provided a link to a website where Henegan had posted videos and audio files where he would often admire Adolf Hitler, the Old Bailey was told.

His bizarre claims also included a belief that prime minister Boris Johnson was a Jewish man pretending to be English.

After an investigation, police searched Hennegan’s mum’s home – where he was living at the time – and found multiple leaflets, a home-made swastika and a swastika armband.

He was wearing this swastika arm band during one of his hearings and a judge asked him to remove it.

Hennegan, who has Asperger’s syndrome, previously underwent a mental health assessment after he shot himself with a gun.

He was found to be ‘dangerous, cunning, manipulative and devious’ and more recently dubbed a ‘loner, [a] potential threat to society and potentially a very dangerous man’.

Hennegan had previous convictions for inciting a child under the age of 16 to partake in sexual activity, possession of MDMA, assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

The racist refused to attend his sentencing hearing at Winchester Crown Court, where he was convicted of distributing and publishing documents inciting racial hatred and possessing a terrorist document.

He was also found guilty of having information that was likely to be useful to a terrorist, as it was about how to make armour-piercing ammunition.

But Hennegan insisted he was not trying to stir up racial hatred.

Instead, he said he was just interested in Germany’s role in the Second World War, rejecting the ‘commonly held view’ that Hitler began the war or ordered the murder of six million Jewish people in the Holocaust.

His defence lawyer said: ‘This was during a particularly sensitive social climate. They are his truly held beliefs and he had increased anxiety of his own.’

Judge Nigel Lickley QC told Hennegan: ‘You created racist material designed to be inflammatory, to cause upset and incite racial hatred of the Jewish faith.

‘In the context of the pandemic enveloping the world, you distributed material designed to incite racial hatred.’

Hennegan was jailed for eight years and one month and given an extended licence period of four years.

He was also made the subject of a counter-terrorism notification order for 30 years.