An Edmonton man who was part of a group of white supremacists who hurled racist slurs, sang Nazi songs and assaulted people on a city street avoided jail Tuesday.
Jason Anderson, 34, was handed a two-year conditional sentence to be served in the community, plus three years of probation, after pleading guilty to criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and two counts of assault.
“This kind of behaviour is called despicable,” said Provincial Court Judge Elizabeth Johnson, adding that “there is nothing honourable” about Blood and Honour, the international white supremacist group involved in the racially-motivated February 2011 incident.
Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson told court that Anderson and three other men had been near a downtown public train station on the evening of Feb. 12, handing out pamphlets about Blood and Honour.
The group then made their way to Whyte Avenue and went to a bar to drink beer.
While there, the drunk men began “singing white supremacist songs,” performing Nazi salutes, yelling “Heil Hitler” and hassling anyone who was non-white or appearing to be homosexual or lesbian. They also hurled racist abuse at a dark-skinned woman outside the bar, causing her to be “quite terrified,” said Finlayson.
The men then went down the street where they began verbally abusing a brown-skinned man having a cigarette. The victim was then punched several times, knocked to the ground and kicked.
The thugs ended up at another lounge, where they again racially berated the woman they had verbally abused earlier. Another woman and a bouncer told them to leave and that woman was punched in the head by Anderson, who was “swinging wildly” during a melee.
Police arrived shortly after and Anderson was arrested a couple of weeks later, said Finlayson.
Defence lawyer Shawn King said Anderson was too drunk to remember all of the details and was also emotionally disturbed due to his mom being slain in a 2009 homicide.
Anderson apologized in court. “I deeply regret everything that happened and I am truly ashamed,” he said.
Anderson must abide by a nightly curfew and perform 120 hours of community service. He is also forbidden from boozing and associating with Blood and Honour members.
As well, he must take counselling for anger management and substance abuse and stay away from Whyte Avenue.
He was also hit with a $350 victim fine surcharge.
Co-accused Keith Decu, 32, was given two years probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to causing a disturbance on Nov. 24.
On Sept. 30, 2011, David Goodman, 19, was sentenced to 15 months in jail, followed by 12 months of probation, and James Brooks, 26, was sentenced to 13 months in jail after pleading guilty to their roles in the hate crime.