Four years for two men who incited riots on Facebook
Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, who were arrested last week, were sentenced to four years in prison at Chester Crown Court.
Their jail terms are the most severe yet to be handed out by the courts following the riots in London and other areas across England.
The court heard that Cheshire Police discovered a Facebook event entitled “Smash Down Northwich Town” which was created by Blackshaw. It clearly stated who it was created by and gave a time and place to meet “behind maccies” (MacDonalds).
The invitation also mentioned it was intended to be read by “MOB HILL MASSIVE NORTHWICH LOOTIN”.
Blackshaw had 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” with a date and time. A witness identified the defendant from a photo which was posted on the site, listing him as its sole creator.
Martin McRobb, Crown Advocate for the CPS, said: “They both used Facebook to organise and orchestrate serious disorder at a time when such incidents were taking place in other parts of the country”.
He added: “These posts caused significant panic and revulsion in local communities as rumours of anticipated violence spread.”
Despite the attempts of the two men, no actual rioting came about as a result of their Facebook groups.
Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, Phil Thompson, stated: “The sentences passed down today recognise how technology can be abused to incite criminal activity and sends a strong message to potential troublemakers about the extent to which ordinary people value safety and order in their lives and their communities…Anyone who seeks to undermine that will face the full force of the law.”