TWO men convicted of publishing race-hate articles on the internet have skipped bail and fled to the United States to claim political asylum, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.
Simon Sheppard and Stephen Whittle were given bail by a judge at Leeds Crown Court on Friday, despite having been found guilty of a series of race-related offences.
The pair were due to return to court on Monday while a jury continued deliberating over further charges, but they failed to show up.
Sheppard, of Brook Street, Selby, was found guilty after a seven-week trial of 11 counts of publishing racially inflammatory written material.
The jury gave unanimous verdicts on nine of the charges on Friday, and returned with two majority verdicts on Monday while Sheppard was absent.
Whittle, of Avenham Lane, Preston, was convicted of five counts of publishing racially inflammatory written material.
Four of the verdicts were reached unanimously on Friday, and the fifth was returned by a majority of 10 to one on Monday after Whittle had absconded.
By Rob Preece