Jail sentence unlikely to deter white supremacists - expert

11:27 am on 19 June 2019

A prison sentence for a man who distributed the video of the mosque massacre is unlikely to deter to other white supremacists, an expert on far-right extremism says.

Philip Neville Arps sentenced on charges relating to the posting of the live streaming of the mosque massacre.

Philip Arps Photo: Pool / Stuff

Business owner Philip Arps was yesterday sentenced in the Christchurch District Court to 21 months in prison for distributing the livestream video of the mosque killings and compared himself to Nazi Germany's deputy leader Rudolf Hess. He said he would appeal his sentence.

Professor Paul Spoonley told Morning Report in his experience, white supremacists didn't always change.

"The sort of white supremacists that is represented by Philip Arps are so committed and so dedicated to their cause, it would be very unlikely that they would change," he said.

"I can't think of any examples where someone who's as devout a white supremacist as Arps has changed."

Mr Spoonley said the prison sentence was reasonable, however, Arps' history of offending suggested it wouldn't lead to change.

"I've had a good look at the judge's comments, he's very clear about reasons for imposing a custodial sentence and then the 21 months. He labelled it a hate crime, so, it's sending a very clear message. I think it is an appropriate sentence."

There were white supremacists gangs throughout all of the prisons in the South Island, he said.

"He's going to join up with people who share his views.

"This is a man who's got more than 30 convictions. He's got a long history of offending, so I don't see prison changing any of that really."