A delivery driver in Liverpool, James Costello, has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role as a leader of a racist church. Costello, self-styled as the “high priest” of the Creativity Movement, was found guilty of 19 counts of stirring up racial hatred by publishing materials promoting white supremacy and neo-Nazi ideology.
Costello used his position as a delivery driver to live a double life, spreading hate propaganda online and distributing it to a network of followers. His website, creativitymovement.net, served as a platform for his racist materials, including written documents and audiobooks that he personally narrated. These materials called for the subjugation and elimination of non-white individuals and the establishment of a white master race.
The court heard that Costello’s propaganda was “dripping with hate” and had no place in modern society. It contained abhorrent references to Jewish people and people of color, and advocated for a “racial holy war.” The materials seized from Costello’s home included flags, banners, postcards, and leaflets with strong Nazi and white supremacist imagery.
The judge, Judge Andrew Menary, described Costello’s actions as intending to stir up racial hatred and saw his website as promoting white supremacy and neo-Nazi ideology. While it is not illegal to hold these views, the dissemination of such materials with the intention to incite hatred is a criminal offense.
Costello’s defense argued that his client believed his actions were lawful expressions of his opinions and views. However, the jury’s verdicts made it clear that his activities were illegal. Costello expressed regret for any hurt his actions may have caused and stated that he does not want anyone to face abuse based on their race.
The sentence highlights the seriousness with which the legal system views the spread of racist propaganda. It serves as a reminder that promoting hate and prejudice will not go unpunished and that the authorities are dedicated to countering such extremist ideologies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the Creativity Movement?
The Creativity Movement is a white supremacist organization that promotes white supremacy and neo-Nazi ideology. It was founded in the United States in the 1970s and has since spread to other countries, including the United Kingdom.
What were James Costello’s charges?
James Costello was found guilty of 19 counts of stirring up racial hatred by publishing materials. These materials included written documents and audiobooks that promoted white supremacy and advocated for a “racial holy war.”
What was the outcome of the trial?
James Costello was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in spreading racist propaganda. The judge emphasized the seriousness of his actions and the need to deter and condemn the dissemination of hate materials.
What is the legal stance on holding extremist views?
It is not illegal to hold extremist views or subscribe to ideologies that promote hate. However, actively disseminating materials with the intention of inciting racial hatred is a criminal offense. The law aims to strike a balance between freedom of expression and the prevention of harm caused by hate speech.