I woke up this morning to some good news from the UK. “Nazi Pug” progenitor Mark Meechan, better known as Count Dankula, managed to avoid jail time this morning as a Scottish court sentenced him to an £800 fine instead of the harsher punishments that were on offer.

More from Dangerous.com and Ian Miles Cheong

Markus Meechan, the Scottish comedian better known as Count Dankula, braced for a stretch of prison time today following his sentencing last month over a “grossly offensive” joke that landed him in trouble with the law.

On Monday, the YouTuber who trained his girlfriend’s pet pug to perform the Nazi salute has been fined £800 ($1,117 USD) for the crime of making a “grossly offensive” joke.

The high-profile trial, which began last March, has been subject to extensive, if mostly biased media coverage painting the comedian and now-free speech activist as a member of the so-called “Alt-Right”—a movement Meechan has explicitly denounced. Meechan was forced to put his life on hold for two years over the charge.

Meechan was charged with committing a hate crime under a British communications act after he recorded the pug, Buddha, responding to statements like “gas the Jews” and “sieg heil” by raising its paw. Offended members of the public soon reported the comedy skit to the police, alleging that the video, which had been viewed fewer than a hundred times, was an incitement to violence against the Jewish community.

As Ian pointed out on Twitter, it’s great that Dankula avoided jail, however the entire charge was itself a farce that should have never happened. The precedent we’ve seen set is something that will ensure that others face prosecution in Scotland and perhaps elsewhere in the United Kingdom over satirical content.

Still, I am quite relieved to see The Count go free. Here’s some reaction from around the Twittersphere…




The celebration is good to see, but the judge, sheriff, or whatever the fuck they call these assholes in Scotland, was still full of shit with his ruling

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll said that while the right to freedom of speech was important, the law “necessarily places some limits on that right” in “all modern democratic countries”.

Sentencing Meechan, Sheriff O’Carroll also revealed the 30-year-old’s girlfriend did not subscribe to the video channel he had posted the footage on.

He added: “I found it proved that the video you posted, using a public communications network, was grossly offensive and contained menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material.

“You deliberately chose the Holocaust as the theme of the video.

“You purposely used the command ‘gas the Jews’ as the centrepiece of what you called the entire joke, surrounding the ‘gas the Jews’ centrepiece with Nazi imagery and the Seig Heil command so there could be no doubt what historical events you were referring to.”

Meechan himself spoke outside the court after the verdict was rendered…

Speaking outside court, Meechan described the video as a joke centred around the “juxtaposition of having an adorable animal react to something vulgar”.

Meechan said he would appeal against his conviction over concerns it sets a legal precedent, which the judge denied.

“A really dangerous precedent has been set for people to say things, their context to be completely ignored and then they can be convicted for it,” he said outside the court.

“You don’t get to decide the context of what you said, other people don’t get to, the court gets to – that’s dangerous.”

I’ll be back with updates to this story as the day unfolds, and we’ll also be talking about it tonight at 11PM EST on the #Killstream. Until I return, please amuse yourself by watching the classic clip that started this controversy in the first place…