Two young men who pleaded guilty to setting up "joke" Facebook riot event pages have been sentenced to a total of eight years in prison. The pages appeared to incite others to violence, which is a big no-no, especially after recent events in London and other English cities.
- On the one hand, serves the silly little fools right; let this be a lesson to them and their peers.
- On The Other Hand, HOW LONG? What happened to consistency in sentencing?
Plus, today's skateboarding duck: How data breaches happen...
Jeremy Kirk speaks of stiff sentences:
It's the sternest punishment yet for abuse of social networks. ... In Chester Crown Court...20-year-old Jordan Blackshaw...and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22,...were sentenced for creating Facebook events calling for violence.
Residents last week called to warn of the Facebook events...which caused the police to arrest them. ... Both men pleaded guilty to offences under the Serious Crime Act of 2007.
Blackshaw publicised an event called "Smash Down Northwich Town." ... Sutcliffe-Keenan created a Facebook page called "Let's Have a Riot in Latchford."
And Aunty adds additional aspects:
Blackshaw's solicitor said his...client and his family were "somewhat shocked by the sentence". The judge said...he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent.
Chris Johnson, of Moss Haselhurst solicitors...said: "It was something which was started as a joke by Jordan...[but] rather misplaced and misguided."
Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan pleaded guilty under sections 44 and 46...to intentionally encouraging another to assist the commission of an indictable offence. ... Lord Carlile, president of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said he was "surprised" by the sentences. ... "I would expect the court of appeal to be asked very soon to provide a guideline case or cases." ... And leading criminal barrister John Cooper QC said he believed some sentences were...likely to be overturned by the Court of Appeal.
As if by majik, here's Dean Wilson:
[Blackshaw] has decided to appeal the sentence, which many have regarded as excessive. ... Considering the nature of the crime and the prison terms given for other offences, it's likely that [he] will draw a shorter sentence. ... He will also likely spend only half of this time in prison if he's let out for good behaviour, but...that could still mean about a year behind bars.
[T]hese harsh prison terms will undoubtedly meet with favour in the UK government, which wants to be seen as stamping down on...the violence and destruction seen last week. ... [But] four years in prison for posting on Facebook does seem a little on the harsh side.
Sutcliffe-Keenan...will likely also appeal his sentence.
David Meyer points out another police
[A] man has been arrested and charged [for] using a BlackBerry...to try to organise a water fight. ... The Colchester man has been conditionally bailed and will appear [in] Court on 1 September.
Essex is not the only place where one can be arrested for organising a water fight. Several such arrests were made in Iran...after people used Facebook to invite others to a massive water fight, where young people brandished...water pistols.
Claire Heaney despairs:
But upnorth has a different view:
If these two had been...inciting people to burn down a mosque...everyone here would be...calling for them to be locked away. ... Inciting people to burn down...shops and houses belonging to anyone is wrong so I have no problem with them getting an exemplary sentence.
I now eagerly await the twisting and turning attempting to explain how these ***** acted as they did because of the...rise in rail fares, the phone hacking scandal or proposed cuts to...Surfing studies at Bolton Poly.
Today's Skateboarding Duck...
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. His writing has previously won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.