A self-confessed Nazi told a jury he wanted to encourage political debate when he described Jewish people as “parasites” and called for them “to be eradicated”.
The 22-year-old man from Lancashire, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of breaching the Public Order Act 1986 by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
He is said to have committed the offences during a demonstration by a group called the North West Infidels in Blackpool in March 2016 and at a speech at a gathering of far right group the Yorkshire Forum for Nationalists between June 2015 and November 2016.
Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court on Thursday, the defendant admitted he expressed anti-Semitic views at both speeches and that he was a Nazi –but that did not mean he hated Jews.
He told his barrister, Wayne Jackson, that the purpose of the Yorkshire Forum presentation was to be controversial and provoke debate at a private meeting.
Asked about the Blackpool speech, he replied: “It was the same purpose. It was to be controversial.”
Mr Jackson said: “Did you intend to incite racial hatred?”
“No,” replied the defendant.
Mr Jackson said: “Did you think in the circumstances of your speech in front of these people that racial hatred would be stirred up?”
The defendant said: “No.”
He explained his objective was to move the general population further to the far right on the political spectrum.
Cross-examining the defendant, prosecutor Matthew Brook said: “You hate the Jewish race, don’t you?”
The defendant replied: “Hate is a strong word ... I hate certain individuals within the Jewish race.”
Mr Brook said: “Your view is that you need to get rid of the Jewish race?”
The defendant said: “That is not correct.”
The jury heard the defendant admit he believed Jews were in control of Wall Street, the media, the law courts, pornography, “internet spying” and the “cancer industry”.
He denied when he said the Jew “needs to be eradicated” he meant they be killed but merely removed, although he added: “I accept in hindsight it is a poor choice of words.”
Mr Brook said: “Do you accept that being a Nazi you are encouraging people to hate Jews?”
The defendant said: “No, I’m encouraging them to be aware of the danger that Jews present.”
The defendant denies two counts of stirring up racial hatred.