The YouTuber Who Taught a Dog to Nazi Salute Won’t Have to Go to Jail

Mark Meechan, aka “Count Dankula,” received a fine for his grossly offensive video.

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Apr 23 2018, 2:20pm

Screenshot via YouTube

The YouTuber who trained a pug to do a Nazi salute in response to anti-semitic phrases will pay a fine of £800—or about $1,117—Scottish courts announced on Monday.

Last month, Scottish YouTuber Mark Meechan, aka “Count Dankula,” was found guilty of being "grossly offensive" for his video of his girlfriend’s dog raising its paw when he said things like “I want to gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil.”

The April 2016 video was entitled “M8 Yer dug’s a Naazi.”

Meechan argued that the video was just a joke, meant to offend but not to harm. Airdrie Sheriff Derek O'Carroll, the judge who presided over the ruling, wasn’t buying it. The sentencing announcement from the Sheriff's office states:

“The evidence before this court was that the video was viewed as grossly offensive within Jewish communities in Scotland and that such material tended to normalise anti-Semitic attitudes and provoke further unpleasant anti-Semitic messages and as such, this video using menacing language, led to great concern.

[...]

“The fact that you claim in the video, and elsewhere, that the video was intended only to annoy your girlfriend and as a joke and that you did not intend to be racist is of little assistance to you. A joke can be grossly offensive. A racist joke or a grossly offensive video does not lose its racist or grossly offensive quality merely because the maker asserts he only wanted to get a laugh.”

As Meechan’s video is punished as a hate crime under the Communications Act, he was facing up to six months in jail, plus fines. He’s avoided jail time, as the judge deemed his otherwise clean record and “low risk of reoffending” lessened his sentence.

Leaders of the far-right movement, including Infowars commentators and former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson (whose real name is Stephen Christopher Lennon) rushed to support Meechan during his trial.