It is being reported that a UK judge sentenced two men to four years at a young offender’s institution for inciting other people to riot in their home towns. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, set up an “event” called Smash Down in Northwich Town for the night of August 8 on the social networking site. No one turned up at the prearranged meeting point outside a McDonald’s restaurant other than Blackshaw and the coppers.
Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Latchford, Warrington, used his Facebook account in the early hours of August 9 to design a web page entitled The Warrington Riots. Prosecutors were told that it caused a wave of panic in the town. When he woke up the following morning with a hangover, he removed the page and apologised, saying it had been a joke. Apparently the message was distributed to 400 Facebook contacts and no rioting broke out.
Blackshaw was told by Judge Edwards, QC, that he had committed an “evil act” at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation. His conduct was quite disgraceful and the title of the message he posted on Facebook chilled the blood. He said that Blackshaw sought to take advantage of crime elsewhere and transpose it to the peaceful streets of Northwich.
The judge said that Sutcliffe-Keenan “caused a very real panic” and “put a very considerable strain on police resources in Warrington”.