It took a jury less than a day to unanimously find a white supremacist guilty of spreading racist hate after creating a library of downloadable stickers for supporters to distribute in public.
Samuel Melia, 34, from Pudsey, who organises locally for Patriotic Alternative, will return to court on March 1 for sentencing after guilty verdicts at Leeds Crown Court on January 24.
The offences concern publishing or distributing material intending to stir up racial hatred and encouraging or assisting the commission of the offence of racially aggravated criminal damage between 2019 and 2021.
The Times newspaper exposed Melia’s racist activities following a lengthy investigation into Patriotic Alternative in 2021.
The Hundred Handers Telegram channel, created by Melia, granted supporters access to files to download – and shared examples of where the stickers appeared across the UK, Europe and North America. At its height, the channel had over 3,500 subscribers.
Following his arrest in 2021, police found various far-right stickers in Melia’s wallet as subsequent searches of his property revealed a poster of Adolf Hitler, a Nazi emblem, and a copy of fascist literature authored by Oswald Moseley.
Officers downloaded over 200 Hundred Handers stickers and photographs from Melia’s digital devices.
The prosecution further outlined the expectation Melia placed on others: to display the stickers in public as he did.
Examples of Melia’s racist stickering cited included anti-Black statements around Black Lives Matter (BLM) in his local town. On Telegram, the channel boasted of targeting a street sign near the home of a Muslim teenager and their family after making headlines for expressing support for BLM during the summer of 2020.
Over the years, Tell MAMA did receive reports about their activities, including stickers linking Muslims broadly to criminality or pushing white supremacist conspiracy theories. In 2018, the public alerted us to stickers targeting Muslim communities with “No 2 Halal” and “No 2 Koser” stickers – distribution of the former launched a hate crime investigation in the St Helens area in February 2020. Weeks earlier, we highlighted how local anti-racists removed a Hundred Handers sticker in Sunderland whilst highlighting the antisemitic, anti-Muslim and broad racist ideologies that underpinned the stickering.
Following the guilty verdict, Nick Price, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, made clear that: “It is illegal to publish such material intending to stir up racial hatred towards others, and the CPS will not hesitate to bring prosecutions against those who break the law in this way.”
Price also stated: “Melia was perfectly aware that the stickers he published on his Telegram channel were being downloaded and then stuck up in public places around the country.
“He also knew full well the impact these racially inflammatory stickers were having, and by attempting to remain anonymous, sought to protect himself and others from investigation.
“He was very deliberate in the manner he wanted to spread his messages of racial hatred, and online messages recovered made it clear that he knew these stickers were being displayed in public and causing damage to public property.”
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