THE deaths of three teenagers mown down by a drunk driver as they walked to a 16th birthday party left a community reeling and devastated their families.
But now the tragedy is being exploited by far-right extremists who have turned it into a fake news conspiracy to recruit members and raise funds.
Best pals Harry Rice, 17, and Josh McGuinness and George Wilkinson, both 16, died instantly when a speeding drunk lost control of his high-powered Audi sports car in Hayes, West London, last January.
In March Jaynesh Chudasama was jailed for 13 years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.
But a campaign called “#ourboysjustice” insists the boys were “murdered” by an Islamic terrorist who deliberately steered into them.
The only ‘evidence’ for the outrageous and completely unfounded claim seems to be the fact the driver was Asian – although he is from a Hindu background rather than Muslim.
On top of that he has absolutely no links to terrorism, was drunk at the time of the crash and had lost control of his car when he smashed into the boys, proving it wasn’t a deliberate act.
Despite this irrefutable evidence, the fake news version of events has gained traction among far-right groups who claim authorities hid the truth, encouraged by a viral social media campaign.
Wackos who believe in the theory were among an angry mob who hounded politicians and staff outside Parliament last week.
One of the most vocal “#ourboysjustice” activists is James Goddard, the jobless thug who called anti-Brexit MP Anna Soubry a “Nazi” and is begging for cash to fund his anti-immigrant hate campaign.
Last June Goddard and other campaigners were thrown out of a meeting for heckling London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, according to the Daily Mail.
Goddard reportedly yelled: “The families of a victim of a terror attack are sat here. Your establishment covered it up.”
Cashing on on tragedy
Robinson, who has raked in a fortune online from supporters of his anti-Muslim bile, has also used the Hayes tragedy to his own ends.
He posted a YouTube video telling followers the boys’ parents believed they were “at the centre of a major cover-up”.
He said: “I can’t be 100 per cent certain that this was a terrorist attack, but I don’t blame the families for coming to the conclusions they have.
“If this was a terrorist attack, and if this was a cover-up, we could be looking at so many more terrorist attacks than we ever could have imagined. And that is a worrying thought.”
Robsinson’s endorsement gave the campaign a huge boost and his followers have helped spread the message and hand out “awareness” leaflets.
And thugs from the far-right group protest Democratic Football Lads’ Alliance pitched in by auctioning signed football shirts for the cause.
The families of a victim of a terror attack are sat here. Your establishment covered it up.
James Goddard to London Mayor Sadiq Khan
The conspiracy theory was also boosted by a fake news report by the Kremlin-controlled news channel RT, headlined: “Police ‘suppressing’ case of teen killed by drunk driver because of ‘nationality’.”
It suggested police wanted to “keep it out of the public eye” because of the driver’s Muslim of Pakistani origin – when in fact he was of Indian origin and of the Hindu faith.
The report was based on an interview with Harry Rice’s father Ian at the far-right Day Of Freedom demo in London last May.
Mr Rice claimed police had told “one lie after another”, and added: “If it isn’t terror related it was definitely a deliberate act, everything points to it.
“Why are the police being so corrupt and suppressive?”
Josh’s distraught mum Tracy Blackwell appeared on Good Morning Britain in April with other family members and while she did not go into detail, she said: “I think our case is different from death by dangerous driving, I just want to say that.”
However in a speech uploaded to YouTube after the court case the devastated mother claimed the crash was a “deliberate attack on our sons, our country and our way of life”.
Heartbroken Tracy has been latched onto by unsavoury characters like Goddard and Robinson, who see her as the perfect propaganda tool, even though she has denied her grief is being “used” by Goddard.
He recently shared a photo of Tracy at a Yellow Vests rally, adding: “I’m honoured to stand side by side with her, shes an inspiration to thousands and we must all get behind her.”
Last October, Tracy and Goddard were pictured on the #ourboysjustice Facebook page – which has 29,000 followers – at the Red Lion pub in Westminster with Ukip leader Gerard Batten.
Mr Batten posed wearing a campaign wristband and lapel badge supplied by activists.
The under-fire leader – blasted by Nigel Farage for lurching the party to the right and hiring Robinson as an adviser – has denied knowing Goddard and claimed suggestions of a link were “malicious”.
The campaign was launched after Chudasama was prosecuted under driving laws, with a maximum jail sentence of 14 years, rather than murder as some family members demanded.
His 13-year term was later cut on appeal to ten and a half years.
Conspiracist supporters claim Scotland Yard publicly ruled out terrorism “within 40 minutes of the crash” – which is not true.
They also claim an investigation ruled the driver was “in control” of the Audi when it mounted the kerb. This is taken as proof the boys were killed deliberately.
In fact an eyewitness, a female friend of the boys, “described the driver as having lost control of the car, and (said) the car had spun around in the middle of the road”, a crash report reveals.
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The court heard Chudasama was two-and-a-half times the drink drive limit and overtook another car “like a bat out of hell” at around 71mph before slamming into the teenagers.
Other lads chased the driver as he fled on foot and held him until cops arrived.
Chudasama’s lawyer said he will be “racked by guilt and remorse for the rest of his life”.
Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate said: “There are those trying to exploit this tragedy, and people’s grief, for profit and to promote sickening anti-Muslim views.
“They form part of a growing movement of people for whom everything is a conspiracy, an Establishment cover-up, despite the clear and obvious facts denying their case.”
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