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Lanarkshire man trained dog to respond to ‘gas the Jews’

Mark Meechan appeared Airdrie Sheriff Court in court today accused of committing a hate crime

A man who trained his dog to respond to his calls of ‘gas the Jews’ said the vile phase 23 times in a short video clip uploaded onto YouTube.

Mark Meechan appeared in Airdrie Sheriff Court today accused of committing a hate crime.  

The 30-year-old recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, raising its paw when it heard vile statements such as ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘Sieg Heil’.

Following complaints about the content, police were called and he was arrested to allegedly committing a hate crime by uploading the footage onto YouTube in April 2016.

The original clip had been viewed more than three million times on the popular video site.

Meechan, of Lanarkshire, is on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court and pleads his innocence, insisting the videos were only made to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29.

Prosecutors claim he shared material which would spark fear and alarm, and also stir up anti Semitic hatred. 

Meechan also faces another charge of posting a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was ‘anti-Semitic and racist in nature’. The prosecution claimed it was aggravated by religious prejudice.

The depute fiscal said: ‘The video contains footage of the accused stating 23 times in total the words ‘gas the Jews’ in a comparatively short period of time.

‘He accepts he was involved in editing and producing the footage and managed to distil it down to a short period of time.

‘This is not some two and a half hour production with many shards every half hour, this is a toxic distillation of what he may call the best bits of his video.

Mark Meechan, 29, recorded his girlfriend's pug Buddha responding to statements such as 'gas the Jews' and 'Sieg Heil' and put it on the popular video sharing website

Mark Meechan, 29, recorded his girlfriend’s pug Buddha responding to statements such as ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘Sieg Heil’ and put it on the popular video sharing website

‘He has made very, very, sure the phrase “gas the Jews” is repeated over and over and over again.

‘He has constructed the video and he accepts that within a short time frame the noxious phrase is uttered 23 times by him. 

‘The phrase “gas the Jews” contains a clear threat of incitement to carry out a seriously violent act.’

They added: ‘This is an exoneration to gas the Jews, people who belong to the Jewish community.

‘He might just as well have said “murder the Jews” that is the effect of the toxic phrase “gas the Jews”.

‘The historical fact of what happened to millions of Jews in a way that frankly is difficult for a civilised society or people to comprehend.

‘Any reasonable person would suffer fear or alarm having heard that awful phrase uttered over and over and over again.’

Meechan denies any wrongdoing over the video, pictured, and has gone on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court

Meechan denies any wrongdoing over the video, pictured, and has gone on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court

Mark Meechan arrives at court with his girlfriend. 

Mark Meechan arrives at court with his girlfriend. 

The prosecutor added: ‘Mr Meechan said on oath he thought the phrase “gas the Jews” was one of the most horrible phrases he could think of.

‘I have him noted that the phrase was one of the most vile things that a Nazi would use.

‘This was an odious criminal act that was dressed up to look like a joke.

‘He is a highly intelligent and articulate individual, we are not dealing with some callow youth who is inexperienced with what is going on in the world.

‘The Crown contention is that the inclusion of the dog is an attempt to muddy the waters around him making, producing and posting the video.

‘He says that he knows the context of the video but in a criminal court in Scotland he does not decide the context of anything, the court decides the context.’

Meechan had told the court he only ever intended the video to be viewed by a small group of his friends on his YouTube account – and insisted he still found the video funny.

The dog is filmed visibly perking up when it hears Nazi phrases. The dog lifts its paw when it hears ‘Sieg Heil’ in the video, and is also captured watching a rally by Hilter at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

The trial continues.  

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