Right-wing British activist Sam Melia was found guilty of "intending to stir up racial hatred" on Wednesday in the UK for sharing various anti-immigration stickers stating "White Lives Matter" and "We will be a minority in our homeland by 2066."
Popular YouTuber History Debunked went over some of the disturbing elements of the case just before it went to trial:
The jury at Leeds Crown Court returned a verdict this afternoon after spending less than a day deliberating the case of Sam Melia.
The 34-year-old was on trial following a raid at his Pudsey home on Town Street in April 2021 in which police uncovered a catalogue of downloadable stickers which were "intended to stir up racial hatred" and encouraged racially-aggravated criminal damage. They also found a poster of Adolf Hitler on his wall and a book by the infamous British fascist, Oswald Mosley.
Melia, the Yorkshire organiser for far-right group Patriotic Alternative, was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred between 2019 and 2021 and intentionally encouraging or assisting racially-aggravated criminal damage by distributing material for the Hundred Handers.
Melia was the head of the Hundred Handers, an anonymous group of activists responsible for a spate of anti-immigration "stickering" incidents between 2019 and 2021, the court has heard during the eight-day trial. Followers would gain access to the stickers they could download, print out and then stick up around the UK and abroad.
The Crown said media reports of "stickering" linked to the Hundred Handers in the UK "extended from Cornwall to Northern Ireland" and "may make it clear the incidents have in fact caused fear or alarm".
The stickers included slogans such as: "Labour loves Muslim rape gangs"; "We will be a minority in our homeland by 2066"; "Mass immigration is white genocide"; and: "Second-generation? Third? Fourth? You have to go back".
But Richard Canning, defending Melia, had said there "was not a shred of evidence that the Hundred Handers or Patriotic Alternative encourage lawbreaking". He told jurors: "A person's right to free speech must be protected."
But the jury deliberated for less than a day before returning their unanimous verdict. Judge Tom Bayliss KC said he would adjourn sentencing for a pre-sentence report to be prepared. Melia was granted bail and will appear again in court on March 1.
Melia said it never even crossed his mind that he could be brought up on charges for sharing stickers.
Giving evidence on Friday, Melia said he had not intended to incite racial hatred with the stickers, adding: "The idea was always conversations about topics. They are topics like the grooming gangs or rape gangs that have been prevalent across this country."
He said he had deleted one sticker from the library that "got close to incitement", and that one of the Hundred Handers' rules was not to put stickers on private property because it "would be considered intimidatory".
"The idea of the messages is to start a conversation, not to make someone feel intimidated," Melia told jurors.
He said the stickers were intended to be put on street furniture such as lamp posts, benches, bus stops and "places people are waiting".
"You go round Leeds and there's stickers on everything. There must be a reason people are putting them out there," Melia told jurors.
Asked by his barrister, Richard Canning, whether he intended for the stickers to be seen, the defendant said: "Oh god yes, it's not just for my own pleasure. What use would a sticker be sat in your bedroom drawers? I intended for them to be public."
Asked if he realised "stickering" would be criminal damage, Melia said: "No. It's a sticker, a sponge and a bit of water and it comes right off.
"I've never heard of anyone being convicted for stickering, no-one seems to be hiding the groups they're involved with.
"It seems like an accepted form of engaging in the democratic process. It never even crossed my mind it would be criminal damage."
He said that by the time of his arrest in April 2021 he had "moved on" from the Hundred Handers and was spending most of his time as the Yorkshire organiser for far-right group Patriotic Alternative.
Melia told jurors he described himself as "pro-British or a white advocate", and was intending to stand as a candidate for a local council for a second time.
He denied hating people of different races, saying: "Everyone deserves their own homeland and I wish them well in that homeland."
Hope Not Hate, an ADL-esque activist group which works to jail people for their speech, celebrated Melia being convicted for his "fascist sticker campaign."
🚨 BREAKING: Sam Melia, key member of the fascist group Patriotic Alternative, has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred and racially-aggravated criminal damage via Hundred Handers.