Luciana Berger condemns 'campaign of vitriol and hate' as neo-Nazi online troll found guilty

Posted On: 
7th December 2016

Luciana Berger has spoken of the "campaign of vitriol and hate" she and her family and friends had to endure at the hands of a neo-Nazi online troll.

Luciana Berger outside the Old Bailey after Joshua Bonehill-Paine was found guilty of mounting a campaign of anti-Semitic online abuse of her
PA Images

The Labour MP spoke out as Joshua Bonehill-Paine was found guilty of mounting an anti-Semitic campaign against her on his website and blog.

Bonehill-Paine called the former frontbencher "evil" and a "filthy Jew b***h", photoshopped her face onto a rat and blamed her for the death of Jesus.

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A jury at the Old Bailey today convicted him of racially aggravated harassment. He will be sentenced at a later date.

In a statement, Liverpool Wavertree MP Ms Berger said: "Every day up and down our country people suffer harassment and racial abuse. Today’s verdict demonstrates that under British law those who perpetrate these horrific crimes can and will be brought to justice; and it recognises that the British values of equality, tolerance and mutual respect that we hold dear, apply as much on the Internet as they do offline. 

"The protracted campaign of vitriol and hate had a deep impact on me and on the people around me: my family and my fantastic team.

"If any good can come from this awful experience, I hope that it will send a strong signal to anyone experiencing harassment - you do not have to suffer in silence. I'd encourage everyone to report these crimes. Together, we can show, that they are not, nor will they ever be tolerated."

Bonehill-Paine, who is already serving a prison sentence for inciting racial hatred, launched his campaign against Ms Berger after another far-right extremist was jailed in 2014 for targeting the MP.

Garron Helm superimposed a Holocaust yellow star on Ms Berger's forehead and used the hashtag “Hitler was right”.

Bonehill-Paine believed his conviction was wrong and launched "Operation Filthy Jew B***h" in retaliation.

His barrister James Palfrey described Bonehill-Paine as “tragic” and “pathetically wrong-headed”, but argued that in a free society everyone is entitled to their opinion.