Man given four years for Facebook incitement

 

A man was jailed for four years today for setting up a Facebook event inciting violent disorder during the summer riots.

Jamie Counsel created a page on the social networking site on August 9 called Bring the Riots to Cardiff, which was later changed to Bring the Riots to Swansea.

He pleaded guilty in September to what prosecutors said was an act that could have encouraged disorder - although in fact no disorder ensued.

The 25-year-old from Cardiff, whose address was given as the YMCA, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court, a court official said.

The four-year jail term was handed down after Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, were given the same sentence at Chester Crown Court in August, also for trying to start a riot on Facebook.

Blackshaw, of Northwich, Cheshire, set up an event called Smash Down Northwich Town while Sutcliffe-Keenan, from Warrington, created the page Let's Have a Riot in Latchford.

Neither of the events the men attempted to organise happened and the four-year sentences were criticised for being disproportionate.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defended the tough punishments, saying the web pages caused "significant panic and revulsion" to the people of Cheshire.

The CPS declined to comment on today's sentence.

PA

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