Protester faces jail over online race hate messages

Gary Farrimond

Gary Farrimond

A man who was involved in promoting an anti-immigration petition is facing jail for posting vile race hate messages.

Gary Farrimond initially claimed his Facebook account had been hacked but later admitted a charge of making offensive communication.

The 45-year-old was involved in collecting signatures to a petition calling for an end to ‘economic migrants’ being housed at the Britannia Hotel in Standish, Wigan.

However, he later posted a string of obscene messages on social media, some referring to refugees as part of an “Islamic invasion” and saying black people were “not normal”.

Farrimond, of Avondale Street, Standish, appeared before Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, told the court how Farrimond came to the police’s attention after officers were alerted to offensive posts on his Facebook account by a member of the public on Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) Wigan West page.

She said: “On November 12, support officer Price was monitoring the Facebook

account for GMP West when she saw a post from a member of the public.”

Describing Farrimond’s post, Ms Kenyon went on: “There was an image of a Trojan horse with Isis on its forehead and Syrian refugees on its body.”

The post then made reference to refugees as being an “Islamic invasion”.

Ms Kenyon said: “The following day, someone reported racist activity from Mr Farrimond’s Facebook account.”

One post also read: “All foreigners teach their kids to hate the English, let’s do this with our own,” Ms Kenyon added.

Farrimond’s remarks about black people included a vile slur which the Evening Post has chosen not to publish but he followed it up by writing: “I’m not racist, I’m human. Ban the burka.”

When Farrimond was arrested by police he told officers his Facebook account had been hacked in October.

Ms Kenyon told magistrates that this was considered irrelevant as it was not in line with the timings of the posts in November.

Farrimond told police that he didn’t consider his Trojan horse post racist. He also said that he didn’t remember making the others.

However, when he appeared before magistrates, Farrimond – wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘don’t arrest me’ written on the back – pleaded guilty to a charge of making offensive communication.

The case was stepped down by magistrates so a probation report could be prepared.

Farrimond will return to the court on June 9 but was warned that the offences were so serious that he may then be sent to crown court for sentencing.