Facebook rioters who incited disorder have appeals rejected


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The Independent Online

Two men who used Facebook to try to incite disorder during the riots in August have lost their appeals against their four-year prison sentences.

The Court of Appeal rejected five other appeals related to the riots, but cut the sentences for three people convicted of handling stolen goods.

Lawyers for Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, and Jordan Blackshaw, 21, both from Cheshire, argued that their four-year sentences were "manifestly excessive". But the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with Sir John Thomas and Lord Justice Leveson, told the pair that their incitement of others to riot in their home towns was intended to cause "very serious crime" at a time of "sustained country-wide mayhem".

Lord Judge said: "Those who deliberately participate in disturbances of this magnitude... are committing aggravated crimes. They must be punished accordingly, and the sentences should be designed to deter others from similar criminal activity."

Some of the heaviest sentences have been criticised by civil rights groups. Sally Ireland of Justice said: "The court gave much weight to the need for deterrence, but the evidence linking more severe sentences to deterrence of future offending is weak."

Verdicts: The 10 appeals

Stephen Craven, 24

From Salford. Twelve-month sentence for handling stolen goods halved to six on appeal.

Stephen Carter, 26

From Salford. Sixteen-month sentence for theft cut to eight months after appeal.

David Beswick, 31

From Eccles. Eighteen-month sentence for handling stolen goods cut in half to nine on appeal

Jordan Blackshaw, 21

From Northwich, Cheshire. Got four years after admitting using Facebook to encourage a riot. His appeal was turned down.

Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22

From Warrington, Cheshire. Four years after admitting using Facebook to encour-age a riot. Appeal rejected.

Enrico Vanasco, 25

From Manchester. Jailed for 20 months for stealing camera equipment worth £300. Appeal unsuccessful.

Hassan Halloway, 39

From Manchester. Jailed for four years and eight months for burglary and violent disorder. Appeal rejected.

Michael Gillespie-Doyle, 18

From Manchester. Admitted burglary in Manchester city centre and was sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution, his appeal failed. He is now 19.

Lorraine McGrane, 19

From Peckham, London. Jailed for 13 months after admitting stealing a television. Appeal turned down.

Hasan Koyuncu, 18

From London. Sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders' institute for burglary. His appeal was rejected.