Northern Ireland teen's 'Sieg Heil' at police get suspended sentence
A teenager has been given a suspended prison sentence after uttering a Nazi slogan in a Co Tyrone court.
Ryan Brady claimed his outburst was in disgust at how he was being portrayed by police.
Brady (19), of Moneymore Road, Magherafelt, had appeared in the dock of Dungannon Magistrates Court charged with threatening to kill a man.
A police officer said he could be connected to the charge.
Objecting to bail, she explained the threat was made while Brady was already on bail for assaulting and threatening to destroy the car of a female relative on October 14. Other offences were also said to have been committed while on bail.
Brady has 14 previous convictions, including one each for threatening to kill and threatening to cause damage.
The court heard a diary was recovered which contained entries where Brady expressed his wish to cause harm to others, as well as notes on component parts of explosives.
He had also made comments of a racist and anti-Islamic nature.
As the police officer was telling the court of Brady's behaviour, the defendant shouted from the dock: "You're grasping at straws, you black c***."
When Judge Meehan told him to be quiet, he responded: "You're only going to send me to jail anyway."
The judge ordered Brady to be returned to the cells, but on leaving the dock he uttered the Nazi slogan: "Sieg Heil."
The judge waited until the defendant was back in custody then said: "That remark is a particular trigger to far-right extremists in the fields of racism.
"To express it in a courtroom so casually is something to be regarded as a wilful insult."
The case was paused for a time while Brady's barrister discussed the implications of the comment.
On his return, the defence said his client admitted wilful contempt and wished to apologise "now he has cooled down". Brady, standing in the dock, said: "I am sorry for my outburst earlier but the police were wrongly portraying me as a belligerent racist.
"I made the remark Sieg Heil as a way of expressing how annoyed I was."
Judge Meehan said it was "a qualified apology".
He said: "The defendant may want to look to the acres of memorials to those who died to ensure the freedoms of today.
"The huge consequences of that dreadful time are still felt by families who lost loved ones in the Holocaust and the circumstances around it."
Judge Meegan added: "Whether the outburst was for drama or effect, it is not something any court will tolerate. I reject the perception which he seeks to legitimise his behaviour. There is no mitigation."
Indicating that he had considered two weeks' imprisonment, the judge agreed to reduce this to two days, taking into account Brady's age.
He went on to suspend that for 12 months.
In respect of the threat to kill matter, bail was agreed in the sum of £200.
Brady is to have no contact with the injured party, must not enter a specified area of Magherafelt, must observe a curfew and is banned from taking any illegal or non-prescribed drugs.
The case was adjourned until January.