world

Two jailed for inciting British riots on Facebook

26 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2011 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
Login to comment

The sentences passed down today recognize how technology can be abused to incite criminal activity

Used to be they only used that bit of technology called the mouth. And I guess in a strict sense of the word technology, you could include posters all over town and chalk writing on walls. Also there is the telephone.

I don't see much point in this vague referrence to computers and the internet. No sense blaming them for this.

I sure hope this heavy sentence is not based on some new internet law, as if attempting to organize a riot should be legal just so long as you don't use the net!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The wheels of justice seem to be turning pretty rapidly in the aftermath. They pleaded guilty before a judge. According to a good article in the Guardian

magistrates were advised by justices' clerks to disregard normal sentencing guidelines when dealing with riot-related cases

so there're likely to be plenty of harsh sentences and plenty of appeals against them.

But doubts are now being expressed about the fairness of some sentences. For example, one student has been jailed for six months for stealing a bottle of water from a supermarket.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good job hit hese scum bags hard, they had no compassion for the shop keepers who got looted or other people who got beaten and robbed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Society in the UK is fast going down the toilet. Without the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools, plus the readoption of capital punishment, nothing will change. Of course, neither of these will ever be allowed to make a comeback.

-2 ( +5 / -5 )

This is all a waste of time and money. These sentences are being given out in the immediate aftermath of the riots and reflect people's shock and anger and their desire for revenge. Fortunately, the UK justice system is better than that; any excessively harsh sentences will be successfully appealed against once people have calmed down, costing the taxpayer a fortune in retrials and special hearings. Nuts :(

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

Neither of these young men has been in trouble before, and neither took part in any rioting, stole anything or caused any actual damage. One of them got drunk one night, put a stupid message on his facebook page, woke up next morning and immediately removed it. No rioting or other criminal acts took place as a result of their messages. And for this they are getting four years. As luca says, these sentences will be appealed, further clogging up the legal system; surely a criminal conviction in itself would have been enough for what is after all just youthful stupidity.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Four years for using your right to free speech. Ridiculous. More than a rapist and same as a black on black murder.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

They should not go to jail. Britain is turning into America.

That`s really sad !!!   Human rights out the window.

-9 ( +2 / -10 )

How is that affecting Human Rights.

You have the right to protest. You do not have the right to riot, to cause criminal damage, to loot and in a couple of instances kill people.

Scum. And they got what they deserved.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

These are cowards who attempt to hide behind a facade whilst wreaking havoc on people's lives.

A bit like the drug pusher compared with a drug user, the sentence deserves to be harsher for the instigator.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Whiskeysour,

I fail to see how being jailed for inciting a riot which would likely damage property, terrorize people and endanger lives could have anything to do with a LACK OF HUMAN RIGHTS?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Great! Let's hope the wheel of the law keeps turning on these scumbags!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@whiskeysour...how is it a violation of human rights? These idiots tried to incite violence...get a clue!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sentencing is fast.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“The sentences passed down today recognize how technology can be abused to incite criminal activity and sends a strong message to potential troublemakers,”

It also makes you realize how much crap you can get in when you a moron to use it as.

I agree that there should be no punishment for freedom of speech (besides in cases breaking up with someone over what you wrote, or fired if it goes against your contract), and had these young men just posted their comments on riots or said they hoped they would continue or what not, I don't believe the authorities could take any action. As it were, though, these fools were trying to incite violence -- and that's not freedom of speech, nor legal.

The sentencing was indeed fast, but lest we forget Britain is under a lot of pressure to quell any such action as quick as they can, and have just enacted new 'zero tolerance' laws. The speed, and severity of the sentences is probably in order to make an example that they're serious about cracking down.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Four years for using your right to free speech. Ridiculous. More than a rapist and same as a black on black murder.

It is a bit harsh, yes, but the second half of the quote is the most ridiculous part. It is insane for rapists and murderers to be sentenced to four years or less.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Smith

I don't think there has been any new legislation enacted. Indeed, it isn't necessary as all appropriate laws are already on the statute book. Rather, Cameron (no stranger to youthful idiocy himself) has been telling magistrates and judges to use particularly harsh sentencing. As LucaBrasi said, all these excessive sentences will be reduced on appeal in a few months time; for example, I would think the two facebook morons will have an appeal, have their sentence reduced to 9 months, and be released as they have already served the tariff. Of course, it won't be front page news, and that is what this is about; it's theatrics. Rather than addressing the concerns of the police for more resources and manpower, or of community organizations who want more attention to alienated youth, the government, or the Tory wing of it, is just shouting about punishment and "zero tolerance" - whatever that means.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just feel disappointed that it's about two morons from a middle of nowhere inciting to riots that didn't happen. When I read the headline I hoped so much it would be about handing out harsh sentences to those actually responsible for looting and arson and injuries and deaths in London.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not to mention that despicable regimes like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia could use this as an example of how to deal with potential "troublemakers".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A few hundred hours of good old community service cleaning up the town would be humbling and give them time to reflect on their actions.Compared to a certain Bugs Bunny ranting on, espousing a suspect bias of all things....,these two boys were just plain dumb and didn't stop to think.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do believe that these people have committed crimes and deserve to be punished for it... but 4 years for setting up a Facebook page? That is way excessive. Fines and community service seem more appropriate to me.

The bit someone posted here about how magistrates were ordered to ignore sentencing guidelines is scary and inexcusable. Last I heard, the UK was a country under the rule of law, not of arbitrary "justice". Sentencing people regardless of what the Law says is a sign of a Kangaroo court, not of a decent, modern justice system.

Has the government decided to fight lawlessness with lawlessness of its own?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These two "boys" are in their 20's. How much longer are you going to coddle them before you start making them responsible for their actions? When they're in their 50's?

"Smash Down Northwich Town" and "Let's Have a Riot in Latchford" are not examples of free speech. They're examples of calling for violence and these two men are guilty even if they weren't serious. The organizers of the actual riots weren't stupid enough to post their organization plans on a public site, so that's why they haven't been jailed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamor, I see no one here who thinks that these people should get off without any consequences for their actions. So I don't know what you are going on about, talking as if people wanted them to avoid responsibility for their actions. It's just that 4 years in jail for Facebook pages, apparently one of them put up in a drunken stupor and taken down as soon as the guy sobered up (if bobobolinski is correct), is really excessive.

They didn't loot. They didn't beat people. They didn't steal anything. Hence, 4 years in jail is excessive and ridiculous. Their age matters little to me, even if they were in their 50s, I would still say that it is excessive.

Why the obsession about jailing non-violent offenders? Are sentences serious only when people end up in jail? What's next? Are you going to argue that if we don't send people who have been caught doing 120 Km/h in a 100 Km/h zone to jail for a year at least, then we are "cuddling" them and not making them responsible for their actions?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If any social media is used in England to incite rioting then a jail sentence is appropriate. Everyone has the right to peacefull protest, no person has the right to murder, thieve and burn. If any persons thinks that free speech is being curtailed because those that have abused this democratic right are now getting their come uppance, perhaps they may think about the victims who were killed, burned out of their homes or had their business looted.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@kchoze,

Fadamor, I see no one here who thinks that these people should get off without any consequences for their actions.

Then you need to go back and read the posts again. Anybody claiming this is a "Free Speech" issue is trying to say they did nothing wrong. READ IT AGAIN.

Why the obsession about jailing non-violent offenders? Are sentences serious only when people end up in jail? What's next? Are you going to argue that if we don't send people who have been caught doing 120 Km/h in a 100 Km/h zone to jail for a year at least, then we are "cuddling" them and not making them responsible for their actions?

First of all, I wrote "coddling", not "cuddling". Second of all, how many deaths resulted from the riots that DID happen? These two morons thought, "What fun! We should do that here as well!" Inciting the public to perform violent actions when you have no intention of joining in doesn't make you any less guilty of inciting a riot. Inciting people to commit crimes against other people and their property is a violent action, "so I don't know what you are going on about" in calling these two losers "non-violent".

If the perpetrators of the deadly riots are caught, I guarantee that they will WISH they only got four years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Second of all, how many deaths resulted from the riots that DID happen? These two morons thought, "What fun! We should do that here as well!" Inciting the public to perform violent actions when you have no intention of joining in doesn't make you any less guilty of inciting a riot. Inciting people to commit crimes against other people and their property is a violent action, "so I don't know what you are going on about" in calling these two losers "non-violent".

Going by your logic, anyone who makes a dead baby joke deserves to be jailed as long as actual baby killers. At least one of these guys made a bad joke while drunk and deleted it when he sobered up. What's the point of locking them up 4 years and leaving them with a permanent mark that is a criminal conviction? It's just plain absurd. The only justification I can see is to flatter the ego of self-righteous folks who think wanting harsh sentences on everyone else proves that they are morally superior and to satisfy the bloodlust of panicked fellows.

There are degrees of "inciting riots". Someone who really goes on the streets and agitate to get people riled up does deserve a harsh sentence. Young people who made bad jokes while drunk are at the bottom of the ladder. Slap them with fines and community service and that is enough. Sentences have to be proportional with the act. Some people may actually deserve 4-year sentences for inciting riots in the UK right now, but these two guys aren't them.

If magistrates have really been told to ignore sentencing guidelines in dealing with people involved in the riots, then the people who told them that do deserve jail for corrupting the judiciary by inciting judges to be arbitrary in sentencing instead of following the rule of law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites