Man charged with murder of a gay friend who had a crush on him sent death threats to Grindr users

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A 21-year-old man will stand trial for murdering a gay Jewish student in a hate crime after prosecutors told the court his phone contained more than 100 examples of hateful messages, reflecting the neo-Nazi ideology.Blaze Bernstein was stabbed more than 20 times in the face and neck in January after meeting up with defendant Samuel Woodward. The materials found on his phone were related to Nazi group Atomwaffen. The group, whose insignia Goldsmith said was featured in Woodward’s phone background, embraces a “Third Reich ideology” towards gay people and other minorities, many group members celebrated the murder because young Blaze was not only gay but also Jewish. Goldsmith also told the court that Woodward wrote to himself about scaring gay men on Grindr by sending them photos of other gay men being killed. Defence lawyer Edward Munoz did not call any witnesses, instead telling the court that Woodward had said he was autistic, socially awkward and sexually confused. He also argued that his client could not have committed a hate crime because the offensive materials which Woodward kept on his mobile – including an email he sent himself called “Sam’s Diary of Hate” – were not shared with anyone.

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