Facebook riot inciter jailed


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The Independent Online

A 22-year-old man who created a "Letz start a riot" Facebook page as looting swept English cities last summer has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

West Mercia Police said it hoped the sentence imposed on Danny Cook acted as a deterrent to anyone else tempted to incite disorder on the internet.

Cook, of Marlpool Place, Kidderminster, was jailed at Worcester Crown Court after pleading guilty to intentionally encouraging or assisting in the commission of theft or criminal damage.

In a statement issued after sentencing, the West Mercia force said the Facebook page came to officers' attention during rioting in some UK cities in August.

A 16-year-old youth has already received a non-custodial sentence for comments he posted on the site, which was reported to the police by a member of the public.

Police inquiries established that Cook had also put his own comments on the Facebook page, including one which read: "The riotz are goin on from Brum to London tell you what I don't want to sit back cause I wanna join them."

Commenting on the offence, Superintendent Steve Cullen said: "At a time when tensions were running so high Cook's actions were extremely foolish and irresponsible.

"He has now paid the price for that by losing his liberty.

"What was seen in some of our cities in August was shocking and despite social media being used to try to incite violence and disorder here, thankfully we did not experience that in West Mercia."

The senior officer added: "We are grateful to those people who did contact us at the time with concerns over content on social media sites as although we do monitor them ourselves, information from the public is crucial.

"This was a serious crime and the sentence reflects that.

"We hope this case serves as a deterrent to anyone else who might be tempted to incite disorder in this way, regardless of the motive."