YouTube Comedian @CountDankulaTV has been found GUILTY under the Communications Act of causing "mass offence" for telling a "grossly offensive" joke despite not a single complaint reaching the police.
Count Dankula has well over 100,000 subscribers on youtube and outreach on other platforms, such as around 50,000 twitter followers. His notoriety only started to boom when he created the Nazi Pug video joke. Before, during and after the video he made it clear it was a small wind up joke to annoy his girlfriend and the premise of the joke is that, Nazi's are bad, yet he has been subjected to legal proceedings initiated by police intelligence units for over two years as a result of this joke.
Strangely, the video itself was not the cause of the increased audience Count Dankula has gained but instead the curious intervention of the police and courts into his comedy act. Since the first trial and arrest an online and offline fascination with how someone can be arrested and face jail for telling a joke, has lead many more people to follow his content.
Regrettably many media outlets have sought to label Markus Meechan a Nazi, a claim he strongly denies. Despite this, he has already been fired from one job and has essentially been forced to crowd fund money in order to pay for a legal defence. Furthermore news reporters were outside Dankula's house with the police officers, before Dankula had any knowledge he would be arrested - information that could have only unlawfully been leaked to the press from the police as there were no-other complaining bodies.
This is all the while comedians on stage have told far more risky and exceptionally far more "offensive" jokes but none have been sent to trial or been subjected to this experience.
We currently await the sentence following the guilty verdict, which has been deferred until the 23rd of Apri but the law states "A person guilty of an offence under section 127 CA 2003 shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine or to both. This offence is part of the fixed penalty scheme.".
In summary, we have found ourselves in a situation where a comedian, on youtube, prefixing and suffixing the content as purely comedic can land with a prison sentence. Free speech has taken a substantial hit today, let alone the personal cost it has on Markus and those who would create similar content.
From what we can gather, the prosecution relies entirely on removing the before and after context, and the fact it was a joke, to create the case that it is intentionally victimising a minority. They seemingly argue that Nazi jokes should not be permitted and should be considered hate speech, for which I can only respond with, when will they arrest Mel Brooks?
The defence stated that they needed the judge to prove to the court room that we are living in 2018 and not 1984. A warning that John Cleese has also made in this video.
I hope Count Dankula appeals at the first opportunity... and I really hope we can reverse this situation and repeal the damaging rulings and laws that lead us here.