A far-right Army veteran has been jailed for stirring up racial hatred after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was pressured to reconsider not bringing charges against him.
Jeremy Bedford-Turner, 48, called for his “soldiers” to liberate England from “Jewish control” in a speech outside Downing Street and blamed Jews for issues ranging from both World Wars to Jack the Ripper.
The CPS declined to prosecute him after an initial complaint but reconsidered the decision after the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) brought a legal challenge at the High Court.
Judge David Tomlinson jailed Bedford-Turner for a year for the “poisonous” and “sinister” speech after a jury convicted him following two hours of deliberation.
The 15-minute speech was made at a rally against Jewish neighbourhood watch group Shomrim in Whitehall, central London, on 4 July 2015.
Bedford-Turner, who served for 12 years in the Army speaking Pashtu and Arabic, told the crowd:
“Let’s free England from Jewish control. Let’s liberate this land.
“Listen, soldiers, listen to me. It’s time to liberate our country.”
Under cross-examination during his two-day trial, Bedford-Turner admitted wanting all Jews including children to leave the UK.
Prosecutor Louis Mably QC said the defendant was “absolutely obsessed” with Jewish people and that he “despised” them.
The CAA took the step of bringing a judicial review after prosecutors declined to charge Bedford-Turner.
Bedford-Turner, of no fixed address, was convicted of one count of stirring up racial hatred.