Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Judge Elgan Edwards in knee jerk reaction.

Two men have been handed four-year jail terms for setting up Facebook pages encouraging people to riot – even though the riots never took place. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, from Marston near Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, from Warrington, appeared at Chester Crown Court yesterday and both pleaded guilty to inciting violent disorder.

The court heard how Blackshaw was the only person who turned up to his own riot and was promptly arrested by police whilst Sutcliffe-Keenan's riot page was only up for a few hours before he took it down again. Blackshaw labelled his Facebook group "Smash dwn [sic] in Northwich Town" and called on his friends to meet behind McDonald's in the town centre on Tuesday 9 August for "lootin". The police had already infiltrated his group and, according to the prosecutor Martin McRobb, only nine of his 147 friends even bothered to reply to his call to arms.

Sutcliffe-Keenan, meanwhile, used his Facebook account in the early hours of 9 August to design a web page entitled The Warrington Riots. The page was live for several hours before he took it down but it had already caused a wave of panic in the town.
According to prosecutors, 47 people confirmed their attendance on the site before it was shut down. In the end, however, no one turned up.

...The above story demonstrates a knee jerk reaction by Judge Elgan Edwards. I consider this punishment totally inappropriate to the offence. What ever happened to free speech and freedom of association? Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan did not create a riot, they only posted on Facebook. Yes, they did create some mischief but so do Muslims when they discuss jihad and terrorism. Will the courts be sentencing Muslims if they write on Facebook their support for jihad? We should be able to have freedom in the press and on the internet. What good is putting in prison at tax payers expense Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan for 4 years? I do not think that their risk of re-offending is greater than the average citizen. The only sentence I would give is one of adult literacy to Blackshaw and to let Sutcliffe-Keenan off with a caution because he deleted his web page when he had second thoughts. Bringing this case to trial was malicious by the Police and a waste of public money. And now we have to pay for these to mischievous young men to stay in prison for 4 years.

This is exactly the sort of sentencing we need all year round!!!! Maybe if this was the case Stephen the part of Cardiff you live on wouldn't have the reputation it has and had for donkeys years!!!!
I think the fact that he actually turned up for his spot of looting (but nobody else did) is a mitigating factor in this case. He really did mean to go through with what he posted which is somewhat different to me, say, threatening sundry politicians with "a spot of dragonbreath with both nostrils set to 'crispy'" (because we all know that's not actually going to happen, mainly down to me not actually being a dragon)

I can't remember who said it but "freedom of speech does not give you the right to shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre"
Matthew: I am surprised you are defending the Police and Facebook over freedom of speech, must tell my mate Rhys.

Dracunculus: I trust you read about the quote rather than witnessed it! It was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr in 1919.
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