THE man who was fined for posting an online video of a dog carrying out Nazi salutes has failed in a crowdfunded bid  to challenge his conviction in the UK's highest court with judges saying it is "without merit".

Mark Meechan, who blogs under the name of Count Dankula, has admitted his legal fight against a hate crime conviction may be over after having an appeal rejected by the Supreme Court.

He had recorded his girlfriend's pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as "Sieg Heil" and "gas the Jews" by raising its paw and put the footage on YouTube.

He was fined £800 at Airdrie Sheriff Court and had hoped to challenge the case at the highest court in the land.

There have been two failed bids through Scottish courts, before a permission to appeal was made directly to the Supreme Court, where it has been kicked into touch.


According to the Supreme Court, Lord Reed, Lady Black and Lord Kitchin, rejected a permission to appeal "because the application is incompetent and in any event without merit".  

Meechan, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, had raised nearly £200,000 through an online appeal to help pay for the challenge.

A Supreme Court spokesman said: "The case was allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court because it appeared that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction.

When the justices considered the application they found it to be incompetent because the Scotland Act does not make provision for an appeal against a decision of the Sheriff Appeal Court, and the High Court of Justiciary had not determined a compatibility issue. 

"The application was considered to be in any event without merit, because there was in the view of the Appeal Panel no arguable question of law. "

READ MORE: BBC Scotland drops Nazi dog salute man after outcry

Mr Meechan said after the decision that the court had provided no information as to "specifically" why his appeal had no merit and is now considering taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights but told supporters: "Please know, this could possibly the end of the road."

"This (ECHR)  process would again be very time and fund consuming and at this point we are only considering going down this path, as in my personal view from freedom of speech cases I have seen handled by the ECHR in the past, they do not have the best track record. Again, that is my personal view," he said.

"We are currently seeking advice from an expert on the ECHR to see whether or not this route would be worth our time.   I do not wish to invest a lot of time and money into what could turn out to be another very expensive 'no' with again, no proper explanation given, when the funds used for it could have instead gone to a charity to help those in need."


He added: "100% of the remaining funds that are left over after legal fees have been paid WILL be donated to charity, I refuse to shift on that stance. Ideally I would like to see the funds go to a childrens hospital.

The YouTuber, now 32, has previously denied committing an offence under the Communications Act during a trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court last year but was found guilty of breaching it by posting the grossly offensive film.

He claimed that the video was only intended as a joke to upset his girlfriend.

Sheriff Derek O'Carroll fined him £800 and a subsequent attempt by Meechan to challenge his conviction at the Sheriff Appeal Court, where the judges are senior sheriffs, failed after it was rejected in the initial sifting process
Meechan's lawyers then raised a petition seeking to have the High Court use its powers to allow an appeal to be taken to the UK Supreme Court in London.

READ MORE: Mark Meechan given £800 fine for hate crime after filming pug giving 'Nazi salutes'

But Scotland's senior judge, the Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, sitting with the Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, and Lord Menzies rejected the move in January, saying they had no powers to allow any further appeal in the circumstances of the case.

Meechan had sought to pursue a human rights appeal including a claim under article 10 which covers freedom of expression.

His senior counsel, Dorothy Bain QC argued that the petition was competent and necessary to advance the challenge brought by Meechan.

She said: "The consequences of his conviction for this breach of the Communications Act have been immense for him both professionally and personally."

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, for the Crown, counter argued that the Sheriff Appeal Court had exercised its powers in accordance with statute and called on the judges to refuse Meechan permission to appeal.

A further human rights petition against Court of Appeal's decision was also rejected in March.   Lord Carloway said it was "unarguable and incompetent".

He said: “This court has no power to grant leave to appeal from a sift decision of the Sheriff Appeal Court to itself. To do so would be to act in defiance of the statutory scheme."

HeraldScotland: Mark Meechan (left) and Tommy Robinson speak to the media at Airdrie Sheriff Court for Mark Meechan trail. March 20 2018. See Centre Press story CPNAZI; A man who taught his girlfriend's pet pug to give Nazi salutes to be sentenced for the hate crime

In launching his crowd funding appeal, Mr Meechan said: "This is the amount that has been quoted by my lawyer, the reason it has been quoted so high is my lawyer wishes to bring in top legal representatives to ensure that we have the highest chance of reversing the standard that this case sets.  

"I cannot allow the two years of litigation I went through and having my life put on hold, to happen to anyone else.

"I will be 100% transparent with these funds, all bills in regards to the case will be made publicly available.
"All remaining funds from this campaign will be donated to a charity."