Shropshire Star

Jury retires in trial of podcaster accused of stirring up racial hatred

James Allchurch has been on trial at Swansea Civic Centre.

James Allchurch

The jury in the trial of a podcaster accused of stirring up racial hatred has retired to consider verdicts in the case.

James Allchurch, 51, from Pembrokeshire, has been on trial at Swansea Civic Centre charged with 15 counts of distributing audio material to stir up racial hatred over a two-year period.

Each charge relates to a separate audio file uploaded between May 17 2019 and March 18 2021 to a public website called Radio Aryan, which was later renamed Radio Albion.

Judge Huw Rees sent the jury out to consider its verdicts in the case at 12pm on Friday.

During his trial, Allchurch was described by prosecutors as a “supporter of Adolf Hitler” and accused of hosting “highly racist and antisemitic” episodes.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Rees KC said Allchurch’s recordings were “white supremacist in nature” and said he was “threatening, abusive and insulting” about ethnic minorities.

He told the jury of six men and six women that Allchurch was the owner of Radio Aryan, the main host and was responsible for distributing the audio recordings.

In some of the files, Allchurch is joined by National Action co-founder Alex Davies, 27, from Swansea, who was jailed in June last year for being a member of the banned far-right organisation.

Allchurch used the alias Sven Longshanks, a reference to King Edward I, who was also known as Edward Longshanks and was responsible for expelling Jewish people from England in 1290.

Mr Rees told the jury: “The prosecution say that this defendant was responsible for the creation of a number of audio files containing commentary of a highly racist and antisemitic nature which were then uploaded to a website that was open to the public.

“Despite the change in name from Radio Aryan to Radio Albion, the virulently racist content of the website remained unchanged.

“In his own words, the defendant is an avowed racist and considers himself to be a National Socialist.

“The very purpose of Radio Aryan was to spread his propaganda about racial conflict.”

Jac Davies inquest
Swansea Civic Centre (Benjamin Wright/PA)

Police arrested Allchurch, who says he is disabled and unable to work, at his home on December 17 2019.

During the trial, jurors listened to each of the 15 podcast episodes, which totalled more than nine hours of recordings.

Giving evidence, Allchurch denied that the podcasts – covering topics including grooming gangs, immigration, slavery and crime – encouraged hatred or racial violence.

He told the court that his use of racial slurs was not intended to cause offence, and said he believed he was using “accurate terminology”.

The defendant said he spent up to 12 hours per day creating podcast episodes and maintaining his website, which accepts donations via a Bitcoin link.

He insisted he was not a member of any proscribed far-right organisation.

When asked if people would be upset by what he said in the recordings, Allchurch replied: “My audience is other nationalists who at the time used similar or worse terminology.”

Judge Huw Rees asked if Allchurch accepted that members of the public had “unfettered access” to the website.

Allchurch replied: “They had to know the address, they had to know the name and look it up. We didn’t advertise anywhere that wasn’t already within the nationalist community.”

He was asked about Davies and told jurors he had not been charged or convicted when he appeared on the podcast.

In one exchange during a recording about grooming gangs, Allchurch described himself and Davies as “avowed racists”.

Allchurch told the jury: “It was just a joke. People accuse myself and others like me as racists. Anybody centre right, even the Conservatives, get accused of being racist.”

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