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Serving soldier wrote supportive letter to anti-Semitic Cambridge extremist jailed for inciting hatred

A serving soldier wrote a supportive letter to a Cambridge extremist jailed for expressing hateful v..

By admin , in Cambridge , at March 20, 2018

A serving soldier wrote a supportive letter to a Cambridge extremist jailed for expressing hateful views about Jews and black people, a court has heard.

Lawrence Burns, of Coldham’s Lane Cambridge, was jailed for four years last year, after he was found guilty of two counts of inciting racial hatred.

This sentence was later reduced to two-and-a-half years, due to his "young age" and "poor educational background". Burns was 26 when he stood trial for offences committed in 2014.

Burns was arrested after commenting on a YouTube video that he wanted to “hang the black race”, and sharing Adolf Hitler artwork online.

05/12/16 – Lawrence Burns from Cambridge who is appearing at Crown Court in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Jones

'Some of the vilest and most offensive sentiments possible'

Jurors at his trial at Cambridge Crown Court were shown screenshots of hundreds of Facebook posts Burns had written under a different name.

In one post, Burns is alleged to have written that black children were born with a “horrible” nature and were mean to animals.

He is also reported to have written: “The white race is the only race that can boost evolution. The rest of the other races must be eliminated.”

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During the trial prosecutor Mark Weekes summarised Burns’s extreme views to the court.

He said: “This is a young man who is an extremist and has expressed racist views, particularly towards the Jewish and Afro-Caribbean community.

“On his public Facebook account, which has more than 90 friends, he expressed some of the vilest and most offensive sentiments possible.

“Many of the posts are abusive and insulting towards Jews, who he refers to as ‘sub human animals’ and contain offensive words.”

Now it has emerged a serving British soldier himself accused of being part of a banned Neo-Nazi group wrote a letter to Burns.

'A confessed racist'

Lance Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen is currently on trial in Birmingham, accused of membership of the outlawed National Action group.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of (left) Mikko Vehvilainen and Mark Barrett (centre) on trial at Birmingham Crown Court where they are accused of being part of the proscribed organisation National Action (Image: PA)

National Action was the first right-wing group banned by the Government following the murder of MP Jo Cox in 2016.

Vehvilainen, previously described by his barrister as a confessed racist, is on trial alongside fellow Royal Anglian soldier Mark Barrett, of Alexander Barracks, Cyprus, and a 23-year-old man who cannot be named, accused of being National Action members.

Yesterday (March 19), the court heard how officers searching his Sennybridge Camp barracks accommodation in Powys discovered 11 knives, a bayonet, two knuckle-dusters, a black face mask and a set of handcuffs.

Inside the same area was what prosecutors called a jury-rigged "target dummy" made of a disposable foil tray dressed in a camouflage jacket, resting on a stand.

He also had hand-fashioned arrows and a longbow, along with a licensed shotgun and shells, and an air rifle.

Vehvilainen has admitted possession of a CS gas canister, the court has already heard.

"Victory will be ours, by the will of God"

Lawrence Burns from Cambridge leaving Cambridge Crown Court. (Image: Keith Jones)

Officers also found an unsent letter expressing support for convicted extremists.

It was addressed to Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 25, who jurors heard was convicted at the Old Bailey in 2016 of racially aggravated harassment of Labour MP Luciana Berger by blogging anti-Jewish remarks about her.

His prison address was found at the end of the draft, along with that of Burns.

The letter began: "I have spent many years in our movement and seen many brothers like yourself incarcerated for thought crime."

It concluded: "Victory will be ours, by the will of God."

The jurors were told a digital copy of Norwegian white nationalist mass-murderer Anders Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto was also found on a phone seized during the raids.

The trial continues.


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