THE prankster convicted of hate crimes after releasing a viral video in which he trains his dog to Sieg Heil and react to the phrase "gas the Jews" is raising £100,000 to fight his conviction at the High Court.

Mark Meechan, 30 was fined £800 after being found guilty at Airdrie Sheriff Court of communicating a video which was deemed to be "grossly offensive" and in breach of the Communications Act.

He said afterwards that he was determined to go to appeal while describing what has happened in the two years since he was arrested as "absolute torment."

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A public appeal to raise the money needed to fight the case is going live on gofundme.com, the fund-raising website.

Meechan, from Coatbridge insists his two-year-old M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi video featuring his pug Buddha, which has been viewed more than three million times, was meant as a joke to wind up his girlfriend.

Video: Row over police filming London protest over Scots 'Nazi dog' creator conviction

He said after it was pointed out that he could be re-sentenced on appeal and sent to jail: "It is something I am prepared to do.

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"Me having a criminal record and paying an £800 fine is an irrelevance. What matters is the precedent this case sets.

"Whenever anyone says something that might be unsavoury, the court gets to decide the context of it and can punish you for it. That's Stalinist.

"We need to get the best that money can by so we can go to the High Court and nuke this precedent. This precedent needs to go."

Meechan who says the case raises issues about freedom of speech added: "I told my solicitor I would reject any sentence that is handed to me because I am not a criminal and have done no wrong.

I was prepared to go to jail today."

Dozens of supporters of Meechan, including former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, were at Airdrie Sheriff Court for the court hearing on Monday.

Herald View: Mark Meechan case raises difficult questions around freedom of speech

In London, hundreds gathered an anti-censorship march in support of Meechan organised by The Liberalists UK, who describe themselves as a "mix of centre-left (social liberal) and centre-right (classical liberal) individualists"

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Mr Robinson said: "I think the police have used the Jewish community in this instance to silence people and they've actually tried to tarnish the Jewish community as though they can't take a joke.

"At worst it is distasteful humour, it certainly is not inciting religious hatred against Jews.

"Frankie Boyle has said far worse things so why hasn't he been prosecuted?"

Video: Row over police filming London protest over Scots 'Nazi dog' creator conviction

Sentencing Meechan, Sheriff Derek O'Carroll said the video was grossly offensive and that his girlfriend did not even subscribe to the video channel he posted it on.

He said: "The centrepiece of your video consists of you repeating the phrase 'gas the Jews' over and over again as a command to a dog, which then reacts.

"Sometimes the phrase is 'You want to gas the Jews'. You recite 'gas the Jews' in a variety of dramatic ways. 'Gas the Jews' in one form or another is repeated by you 23 times within a few minutes.

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"You use the command 'Sieg Heil', having trained the dog to raise its paw in response and the video shows a clip of a Nuremberg rally and a flashing image of Hitler with strident music.

"You say the video was only intended as a joke to upset your girlfriend, whose dog you used, and nothing more.

"On the whole evidence, including your own, applying the law as made by Parliament and interpreted by the most senior courts in this land, I found it proved that the video you posted, using a public communications network, was grossly offensive and contained menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material.

"You deliberately chose the Holocaust as the theme of the video. You purposely used the command 'gas the Jews' as the centrepiece of what you called the entire joke, surrounding the 'gas the Jews' centrepiece with Nazi imagery and the 'Seig Heil' command so there could be no doubt what historical events you were referring to."

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He added that while the right to freedom of expression is very important, "in all modern democratic countries the law necessarily places some limits on that right".

Meechan's case has become a cause célèbre amongst some of those who are defending free speech. Award-winning comedy writer and performer Ricky Gervais and comedian David Baddiel, who is Jewish, have both spoken in Meechan's defence.

Video: Row over police filming London protest over Scots 'Nazi dog' creator conviction

As Meechan was being sentenced, Baddiel stood by his support for Meechan saying that his "basic position is you should be able to do jokes about Nazis and you don't necessarily even have to have a high purpose in doing that".

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Baddiel believes context is everything and pointed out that if it was irrelevant then Sacha Baron Cohen should immediately be arrested for posting a video of himself singing the song Throw the Jew Down the Well while playing the "anti-Semitic idiot" Borat in the movie of the same name.

Herald View: Mark Meechan case raises difficult questions around freedom of speech

He said: "Derek and Clive which is this brilliant thing done by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, is my favourite thing in the world and they do a very funny thing where Peter Cook talks about how Nazis influenced him far too much and ended up doing terrible things to Jews as a result of it. There's no higher purpose there, it's just a completely ridiculous way of looking at the whole thing and you should be allowed to do these things.

"The law in this case which is a bit arcane, is about the idea that you cannot disseminate.. the idea of actively wanting to gas Jews. That's a a bad thing. I agree with free speech up to that point. Anyone who actually thinks that should not be allowed to disseminate that idea."

He added to Talkradio: "The point is does Count Dankula/Mark Meechan actually think that. I actually don't think he does."