A NAZI obsessive has narrowly avoided jail after he was found guilty of racial abuse and creating racist stickers.
Stefan Luff, 49, of Portland Terrace, was convicted of two counts of racially aggravated behaviour and one charge of publishing racist material, and last week a judge at Lewes Crown Court sentenced him to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
Luff was arrested in September last year thanks to one of his quick-thinking victims. Having already made offensive comments to a woman and her two young nieces while they were walking in Winchelsea, Luff then racially abused a couple enjoying a stroll along the beach in Rye. But the man approached in Rye managed to take a picture of Luff on his mobile phone and police arrested him later that day. When he was caught, Luff was wearing a ring with the mark of the SS - Hitler’s fearsome paramilitary unit who played a key role in the Nazi concentration camps.
Officers carried out a search of Luff’s flat and found racist stickers which had appeared around Hastings throughout 2009 in White Rock, the Old Town, the West Hill and even the Marks and Spencer store in Queens Road. There was also a stash of Nazi paraphernalia and racist literature linked to groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
Detective Inspector Emma Heater who led the investigation said she was “pleased” with the sentence and the “strong message” it sent out. She said: “Luff caused a lot of distress to his victims in Rye who were visiting 1066 Country and the distribution of racist material around Hastings town centre was very upsetting for the local community.”
Chief Inspector Mark Ling of Hastings Police also welcomed the news in his force’s ongoing fight against racism here in Hastings. He said: “Incidents of racial crime and other hate crime are taken extremely seriously and fully investigated. Hastings has seen reductions in racially motivated offences and this year so far there has been 30 per cent fewer incidents. Our aim is to make Hastings a safe and pleasant place for all of us to live in and visit.”
Luff was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 in compensation costs to his victims and £340 prosecution costs.