, LONDON, Aug 17 – Two men who attempted to use social networking site Facebook to incite riots during last week’s unprecedented civil disorder in Britain were on Tuesday both jailed for four years, police said.
Jordan Blackshaw, 20, from Cheshire and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, from Warrington, both in northwest England, were imprisoned after setting up Facebook pages calling for unrest in their home towns.
Blackshaw’s page, “Smash Down Northwich Town”, encouraged people to gather “behind maccies” – believed to be the McDonald’s restaurant in Northwich town centre – last Tuesday.
Sutcliffe-Keenan’s creation, “Let’s Have a Riot in Latchford”, called for people to riot the following day.
“The sentences passed down today recognise how technology can be abused to incite criminal activity and sends a strong message to potential troublemakers,” Phil Thompson, Cheshire Police Assistant Chief Constable, said.
“Anyone who seeks to undermine that will face the full force of the law.”
Five people were killed during a four-day frenzy of looting and arson which swept through London and other major English cities.
Prosecutor Martin McRobb said the pages created “significant panic and revulsion” amongst local people.
“Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe independently and from the safety of their homes may have thought that it would be acceptable to set up a Facebook page to incite others to take part in disorders in Cheshire,” he said. “They were wrong.”