Man jailed for riot race-hate posts


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The Independent Online

A 22-year-old man who used Facebook to encourage attacks on the Asian community during the widespread public disorder in August has been jailed for three years.

Grimsby Crown Court confirmed that Martin Hartshorn was jailed for 18 months for using Facebook posts to encourage riot and a further 18 months for stirring up racial hatred.

Hartshorn posted the remarks on a community page of the social networking site on 9 August after seeing scenes of rioting in London and many other cities across England.

A judge heard that the comments went beyond simply encouraging others to riot in his home town, as has been seen in other cases around England.

Hartshorn's postings encouraged potential rioters to target the Asian community.

After he was arrested, magistrates heard that Hartshorn first said: "No rioting in Grimsby because it's already a shithole."

He then posted the comment: "Who's up for a riot in town? No Pakis, though."

He then said: "Let's do our riot different. Let's burn all the Paki shops and takeaways."

Another post said: "And the Islamic Centre, we can't forget that."

Hartshorn, of Macauley Street, Grimsby, admitted the offences at at today's hearing.

Afterwards, Detective Sergeant Dave Pattison, from Humberside Police, said: "We would urge the public to be very careful when posting material online via social networking sites as we have seen incidents in our area recently which have led to the general public viewing certain material and taking matters into their own hands.

"This could lead to whoever posted the material facing charges for inciting that activity even if the outcome was not as they intended it to be.

"In this instance, Mr Hartshorn has been charged following a number of posts he made in which he tried to influence other people in order to cause problems, which is not acceptable, and such actions will be dealt with accordingly, so please think before you post, even if your actions are honourable."