Antisemitic British video streamer sentenced to four years in prison

Richard Hesketh, 36, was arrested after police were informed of his antisemitic videos, which had accumulated roughly two million views.

Police officers keep guard outside a house in the Kensington area where counter-terrorism officers arrested men after a vehicle exploded outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in Liverpool, Britain, November 15, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE)
Police officers keep guard outside a house in the Kensington area where counter-terrorism officers arrested men after a vehicle exploded outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in Liverpool, Britain, November 15, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE)

A Manchester man was sentenced to four years in jail on Friday after pleading guilty to seven counts of inciting racial hatred, according to the Greater Manchester Police Department.

Richard Hesketh, 36, was arrested after police were informed of his antisemitic videos, which had accumulated roughly two million total views. After Manchester police were alerted of his videos by Jewish charity and antisemitism watchdog “CST” (The Community Security Trust), he was investigated and ultimately sentenced to four years in jail at a Manchester Crown Court.

Hesketh's antisemitic videos included a depiction of a created alter ego named George, an exaggerated caricature of a Jewish male laden with offensive stereotypes, such as a false, mocking voice and the use of a variety of well-known Yiddish expressions. Hesketh has 10,000 subscribers on BitChute – a video hosting service popular with fringe political elements and conspiracy theorists.

In October 2020, Hesketh shared a video amid a report from Hamburg, Germany that an individual with a shovel had attacked several community members on their way to synagogue, saying “If you’re gonna go into a synagogue and scare the s**t out of these rat-faced Jews it’s like, why would you take a shovel? It’s not exactly the best weapon for cleaving people. It’s good for bonging them on the head with, filthy Jew sit down.”

Antisemitic graffiti found in Brighton and Hove, England, November 17, 2020. (credit: AMANDA MENAHEM)Antisemitic graffiti found in Brighton and Hove, England, November 17, 2020. (credit: AMANDA MENAHEM)

"Hesketh shared as well as created hundreds of shockingly offensive videos and content on social media, which undoubtedly incited hatred towards the Jewish community,” Will Chatterton, Detective Superintendent of the Counter-Terrorism Policing North West, said.

Hesketh’s four-year sentence was just two years short of the maximum six-year sentence for this category of crimes, though the reduction was only due to his early guilty plea.

"Hesketh enjoyed viewing videos of serious attacks on Jewish people and even made comments referring to his disappointment that the attacker in one video did not kill the victim, showing just how depraved his beliefs are. Peddling this mindset across the internet is dangerous and at the same time incredibly upsetting to our communities,” Chatterton declared.

“Richard Hesketh was one of Britain’s most prolific far-right antisemitic video streamers and his anti-Jewish hatred was viewed millions of times by his online audience. We are pleased to have helped bring this antisemite to justice and we are grateful to Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their efforts in putting him in prison,” Mark Gardner, Chief Executive of CST, according to a police article news update.

"This case highlights that right-wing terrorism will not be tolerated in any shape or form and we will do all we can to bring these offenders to justice,” Chatterton concluded.