'˜You turned my pug into a Nazi', woman tells court

A woman has told a court her boyfriend turned her cute dog into a Nazi after he trained it to give salutes and respond to videos of Adolf Hitler.

A woman has accused a man of turning her dog into a Nazi. Picture: Youtube/ Screengrab
A woman has accused a man of turning her dog into a Nazi. Picture: Youtube/ Screengrab

Suzanne Kelly, 29, said her partner Mark Meechan had recorded the pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘Sieg Heil’ and put it on the popular video sharing website YouTube.

After complaints were made about the content, police were called in and he was arrested for allegedly committing a hate crime by uploading the ‘M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi’ video in April last year.

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Miss Kelly was giving evidence at Airdrie Sheriff Court where Meechan, 29, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, has denied any wrong doing and insisted he only did it to annoy his girlfriend of three years.

Mark Meechan denies hate crime (Youtube/screengrab )

Giving evidence at his trial, Miss Kelly, a customer service advisor, said: “I came home from work one day and saw it because it had gone viral. He said ‘don’t freak out, this video I have made has went viral’.

“I was just annoyed that he had made my dog look like something evil because he is a lovely little dog.

“I know that these words were used in the context of the video but it did not make me feel anything towards Mark himself because I know what kind of person he is.

“It is just not a very nice thing to say obviously.

Mark Meechan denies hate crime (Youtube/screengrab )

“I didn’t think about it being anything other than him annoying me, I didn’t think it would have the effect that it did.”

She added: “Mark has been unable to work because of it. It entered my mind that all different kinds of people could be upset by this. I have people talking to me that tell me they were concerned about the dog

“People are obviously offended by what they are offended by. I did not want anyone to be offended.

“My dog is just this wee fat, squishy dog. I’m so used to him being cute and I carry him about like a baby and he was using it in the video to look like a monster.

“He made my cute wee dog look like a monster, Nazis are monsters.”

The trial had earlier heard Ephraim Borowski, 66, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), label the video ‘grossly offensive’.

Mr Borowski told the hearing he had lost members of his own family to the Nazis and insisted the Holocaust should not be joked about.

He added: “I’m no historian but it is the marching signal of the Nazi storm troopers who contributed and supported the murder of six million Jews including members of my own family and I take this all slightly personally.

“Material of this kind goes to normalise the anti-Semitic views that frankly we thought we had seen the last of.

“The Holocaust is not a subject for jocular content.”

Mr Borowski also told the court sections of the Jewish community in Scotland felt threatened by the video’s contents and that the SCoJeC’s website was bombarded with abusive comments in the wake of it emerging.

Prosecutors allege Meechan communicated material that would cause fear and alarm and stir up hatred on religious grounds by posting a clip which was ‘anti-semitic in nature’ to YouTube.

He also faces an alternative charge of posting a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was ‘anti-semitic and racist in nature’ and the prosecution claim it was aggravated by religious prejudice.

At the start of the clip he says: “My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is so I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing I could think of which is a Nazi.”

In the video the dog is seen perking up when it hears the statements and appears to lift its paw to the ‘Sieg Heil’ command in the video which has now been viewed over three million times.

It is also filmed watching a rally led by Hitler at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

The court has also seen a second video where Meechan apologised for any offence the clips caused.

The trial before Sheriff Derek O’Carroll continues.