'Poorly educated' white supremacist has sentence reduced

Lawrence Burns had 98 facebook friends Credit: Counter Terrorism Police North East

A far-right supremacist who wanted to protect a white "advanced warrior race" and was convicted of stirring up racial hatred has won a fight in the Court of Appeal.

Lawrence Burns, 23, of Cambridge, had been given a four-year prison sentence following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court late last year.

But three appeal judges today cut that term to two-and-a-half years after analysing the case at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

They said a crown court judge who passed sentence had not taken account of Burns' "young age" and "poor educational background".

Burns had posted racist material on Facebook when aged 20 and made a speech, subsequently posted online by another person, containing "hate-filled language" at a demonstration outside the United States embassy in Grosvenor Square, London when he was 21 years old.

But Lord Justice Davis, Mr Justice Phillips and Mr Justice Garnham said his sentence should be cut.

Mr Justice Phillips said four years was "manifestly excessive" given Burns' "young age" and "poor educational background".

Barrister Adrian Davies, who represented Burns, told appeal judges that his client had 98 Facebook friends. He said some of those people had extreme views which made Burns "seem moderate".

Burns watched the appeal court hearing from prison via a video link.