A man who distributed anti-Semitic leaflets before turning up at court dressed in Nazi clothing has been jailed for eight years.
Matthew Henegan, 37, of Bedford Street, St Neots was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today (Wednesday) to eight years and one month in prison, plus an extended licence period of four years, having been convicted of a number of offences, including possessing a document containing information useful to terrorism and three counts of distributing material with the intention to stir up racial hatred. He was also made subject to a counter terrorism notification order for 30 years.
Henegan distributed anti-Semitic leaflets throughout his home town as well as online, and when caught he attended one of his court appearances dressed in Nazi clothing.
The investigation was initially carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary, before being handed to the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, head of Counter Terrorism Policing for ERSOU, said: “Henegan had a warped, right wing ideology and was intent on stirring racial hatred in his home town and beyond.
“He showed no remorse for his actions and repeatedly used racial and offensive terms even while being interviewed by officers.
“There is absolutely no place for racism or anti-Semitism in our society, and I’m pleased that Henegan has now been sentenced and prevented from causing further harm.”
Sergeant Rob Streater, from the St Neots Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “Thanks to the hard work of the local neighbourhood officers, who responded quickly to the initial letters being distributed, we were able to identify Henegan as being responsible. The team’s thorough investigation into Henegan and his home then revealed further cause for concern which they escalated to ERSOU and it is only due to this escalation and the close working relationship we have achieved this outcome today.
“We hope his sentence will provide some assurance to the local community and Cambridgeshire residents as a whole who will no longer be subjected to this dangerous individual and his warped ideologies.”
Henegan was found guilty of seven offences in total. These are:
- Possessing a document containing information useful to terrorism, contrary to Section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Two counts of publishing written material with the intention to stir up racial hatred, contrary to section 19(1) Public Order Act 1986.
- Two counts of distributing visual/sound recordings with the intention to stir up racial hatred, contrary to section 19(1) Public Order Act 1986.
- Distributing written material with the intention to stir up racial hatred, contrary to section 19(1) Public Order Act 1986.
- Possessing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, with the intention to stir up racial hatred, contrary to section 19(1) Public Order Act 1986.