A man who was slapped with an £800 fine for filming his pet dog giving Nazi salutes has launched a GoFundMe page as he attempts to overturn his conviction.
Mark Meechan was sentenced on Monday, after a historic ruling found him guilty of posting the ‘grossly offensive’ video.
Now, Meechan has posted a new video entitled ’The Price of Freedom is £800’, in which the 30-year-old confirms he will not pay the fine.
‘I am no criminal, I have committed no crime, I have done nothing wrong, there I should not be punished’, Meechan remarks in the video.
The GoFundMe page aims to raise £100,000 for his legal bills. It has since raised almost £82,000.
Meechan, who posts under the name ‘Count Dankula’, says he is appealing the verdict because it ‘will be used as an example to convict other people over the things they say and the jokes they make’.
In March, Airdrie Sheriff Court heard how Meechan had taught his girlfriend’s pug to react to the words ‘gas the Jews’, and filmed it for his YouTube channel.
Meechan claimed that the controversial stunt was a joke, designed to show how his girlfriend’s pug was capable of supporting reprehensible acts.
He was found guilty under the Communications Act of posting a video which was deemed grossly offensive because it was ‘anti-Semitic and racist’ and aggravated by religious prejudice.
MOST POPULAR TODAY ON YAHOO
- Company director jailed after fitting laser jammer to Range Rover and giving speed cameras the finger
- British woman rescued after being kept as ‘sex slave’ in Italy
- Parents of Alfie Evans set to appeal against High Court’s ruling that he cannot travel to Italy for treatment
- UK Euromillions winner scoops £121 million to become the third biggest lottery winner ever
- Boyfriend ‘beat partner to death then dumped body parts in bins and toilet’
He has since received support from controversial right-wing figures, including EDL founder Tommy Robinson and Alt-Right figurehead Paul Joseph Watson.
Ricky Gervais also took a strong stand against the verdict, tweeting: ‘A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed ”grossly offensive”.
‘If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ”grossly offensive”, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.
‘I f***ing hate religion. I’ve criticised and ridiculed it for 40 years.’
He added: ‘Yet if my government tried to ban it or criminalise it, I would march alongside those poor fools and fight hard for their right to believe any f***ing stupid nonsense they chose.’