TWO British men were jailed for four years overnight after pleading guilty to inciting disorder via social-networking sites during last week’s riots.
The jail terms dished out to Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, are the most severe yet to be handed out by UK courts following disorder in London and other English cities.
A court in Chester, northwest England, heard that police discovered a Facebook event entitled “Smash Down Northwich Town” created by Blackshaw.
It gave a time and place to meet “behind maccies” – believed to refer to a McDonald’s restaurant in the town of Northwich, close to Chester.
Blackshaw posted the first comment, saying, “WE’LL NEED TO GET ON THIS KICKIN OFF ALL OVER”.
Sutcliffe-Keenan also set up a Facebook page encouraging disorder called “WARRINGTON RIOTS” – referring to another nearby town in northwest England, again with a date and time.
“They both used Facebook to organize and orchestrate serious disorder at a time when such incidents were taking place in other parts of the country,” said prosecutor Martin McRobb.
He said, “These posts caused significant panic and revulsion in local communities as rumours of anticipated violence spread”.
The two defendants were “previously of good character”, the court heard. Their offences carried a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Judge Elgin Edwards said he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent to others.