FREE speech organisation Index on Censorship has condemnded the decision by a Scottish court to convict a Scot who trained his dog to be a Nazi and raise its paw every time he said "gas the Jews".

Mark Meechan, known as Count Dankula, was found guilty of being "grossly offensive" under the UK's Communications Act 2003 on Tuesday.

No sentence has yet been set, but the conviction could result in a sentence of six months and a fine.

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Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said: “Numerous rulings by British and European courts have affirmed that freedom of expression includes the right to offend. Defending everyone’s right to free speech must include defending the rights of those who say things we find shocking or offensive. Otherwise the freedom is meaningless.”

The organisation notes that in 1976 the European Court of Human Rights found that “Freedom of expression…is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population”.

Sentencing has been deferred till April 23.