A long-running action by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has forced the Crown Prosecution Service to review its decision not to prosecute a neo-Nazi who made a hate-filled anti-Semitic speech. On July 4, 2015, Jeremy Bedford-Turner told a group of extreme right-wing followers that “…all politicians are nothing but a bunch of puppets dancing to a Jewish tune, and the ruling regimes in the West for the last one hundred years have danced to the same tune.” Bedford-Turner claimed that the French Revolution and both World Wars were massacres perpetrated by Jews. He concluded that England was “merry” during the period of the expulsion of Jews from England and demanded: “Let’s free England from Jewish control.” The speech was filmed and posted on YouTube, where it remains. The CPS decided after five months’ consideration not to prosecute. CAA chair Gideon Falter, who was present when the speech was made, applied for victims’ right to review the decision but was told he was not a victim. Mr Falter decided to apply for a judicial review of the decision. The case was due to be heard today (Wednesday) in the High Court in London.
But yesterday the CPS decided to quash its original decision and that it should be retaken by a senior lawyer. Mr Falter said: “We are delighted by this result. For more than a year it has been clear that the DPP could not win. It is a disgrace that we have had to litigate for the DPP to reconsider the absurd decision not to prosecute this brazen neo-Nazi.” Later during a telephone press conference, Mr Falter agreed that the change did not guarantee that there would be a prosecution, only that the CPS would look at its decision again. “This is the first time that they have recognised their decision was wrong,” he said. “I will be writing to the CPS to say that because there is a perception in the community that the CPS doesn’t take these things seriously, this should be undertaken by an external barrister rather than someone in-house.” Mr Falter’s legal team – lead counsel Brian Kennelly QC, junior counsel Jamie Susskind and solicitor David Sonn – gave their services pro bono. He believes that “the community needs to do more to raise money for these things. Certain things are well funded . This is a very important area for the Jewish community to make the next generation safe.”
A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: “We would welcome further Crown Prosecution Service engagement with Jewish communal bodies including the Board of Deputies and the CST to ensure that the CPS is able to take a more proactive approach to tackling anti-Semitic hate crime, including more prosecutions of those who incite hatred.” The CST commented: “CST reported this speech for prosecution due to its outrageous anti-Semitism and was disappointed with the original decision, so we await the outcome of this new development with keen interest.