St Neots man spread anti-Semitic Covid hoax theories, court hears

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Police investigated in St Neots after people said they had received "offensive and anti-Semitic" leaflets

A coronavirus conspiracist distributed anti-Semitic hoax theories among his neighbours and online, a court heard.

Matthew Henegan, 36, from St Neots in Cambridgeshire, is charged with possessing, distributing and publishing documents inciting racial hatred.

He claimed Jewish people were behind Covid-19 news stories and "controlled the media" in leaflets and online in March 2020, the court heard.

Mr Henegan pleaded not guilty to the charges at the Old Bailey.

Prosecutor Julia Faure Walker told the court Mr Henegan distributed "threatening, abusive and insulting" material which was "intended or likely to stir up racial hatred".

She said: "The material referred to his belief that Jewish people were behind the news stories about the coronavirus, controlled the media and were evil."

He used a derogatory term for Jewish people throughout, the Old Bailey was told.

The jury heard residents reported receiving "offensive and anti-Semitic" leaflets through their letter boxes in mid-March last year.

These included links to video and audio files allegedly posted by Mr Henegan on a website which were racially inflammatory.

Cambridgeshire Police searched his home on 17 April 2020 and found a large number of leaflets, the court heard.

The jury was told a document called Coronavirus Hoax supplement was posted online on 9 March 2020.

It included anti-Semitic themes and admiration for Adolf Hitler.

In a three-hour-long video called Corona Virus Hoax, tagged with the words Corona Virus, Adolph Hitler (sic), Nazi, Jews and Mein Kampf, Mr Henegan spoke to the camera telling people to deny the coronavirus curfew, the court heard.

Following his arrest, Mr Henegan described Jewish people as "a bunch of criminals" and claimed Hitler was "clearly a righteous person", the jury was told.

The 36-year-old further denies a charge relating to possessing a terrorist document on how to make armour-piercing ammunition.

The trial continues.

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