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White supremacist jailed for sharing footage of mosque shootings

Author
Kurt Bayer, NZ Herald,
Section
Crime,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 June 2019, 10:17AM
Philip Arps, pictured at a previous court appearance, has been jailed. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)
Philip Arps, pictured at a previous court appearance, has been jailed. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)

A white supremacist who compares himself to Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess and who spread footage of the Al Noor Mosque attack, which he thought was "awesome", has today been jailed for 21 months.

Christchurch businessman Philip Neville Arps - who owns a white supremacist-themed insulation company – admitted two charges of distributing objectionable publication after the March 15 shootings.

At Christchurch District Court this morning, 44-year-old Arps was told by Judge Stephen O'Driscoll that it was clear he has "strong and unrepentant views towards the Muslim community".

By spreading the video, and also having another version modified to have crosshairs and a "kill count" added, Arps "glorified" the shootings, the judge said.

And by distributing the video the day after attack showed "particular cruelty on your part" and callousness.

It was, in effect, a hate crime against the Muslim community, the judge said.

When he was arrested and asked by police about the victims' deaths, he replied, "I could not give a f***".

Judge O'Driscoll said it was clear that Arps holds "strong and unrepentant views towards the Muslim community".

"Religion on a whole, Sir," Arps said from the dock.

A pre-sentence report showed he has no empathy or remorse other than for himself and his own family, the judge said.

Judge O'Driscoll said there were other matters in the pre-sentence report which gave him real concern and he didn't want to mention them all publicly as it might be seen by Arps as "a badge of honour" to him and others with similar beliefs.

He gave one example where Arps compared himself to Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess.

The pre-sentence report also noted that he was at a high risk of reoffending.

The court heard that Arps also believes that the mainstream media is corrupt and owned by Zionist media groups.

Arps was jailed for 21 months. The judge said he was not prepared to convert it to an electronically-monitored sentence - saying the primary purpose of sentencing was one of denunciation and deterrence.

Arps had earlier pleaded guilty in April to two charges of distributing video footage of the Al Noor Mosque attack.

Fifty-one people died in the terror attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15. The first attack at the Al Noor mosque was livestreamed on Facebook.

Arps had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of sharing raw footage from the accused shooter's livestream to approximately 30 people on Facebook.

He also pleaded guilty to requesting another person add crosshairs and a "kill count" to the video.

The court heard he intended to distribute this modified footage as a meme.

A police statement said Arps had called the modified footage "awesome" and showed no empathy for the people killed.

In 2016, Arps was one of a group of men who filmed themselves doing Hitler salutes as they delivered boxes of pigs heads and offal to the Al Noor mosque.

"White power … Bring on the cull," Arps was seen saying in the video.

In that case, he was convicted of offensive behaviour and fined $800.

 

ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM