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Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan  (Source: anorak.co.uk)
Both men are looking to appeal the sentence because they feel the punishment didn't match the offence

Two weeks ago, the shooting of a 29-year-old man by the Metropolitan Police Service in Tottenham, North London caused a chaotic scene. British citizens from many surrounding cities began rioting in the streets, participating in illegal activities like arson, burglary, robbery and looting. In the end, five civilians were killed, 1,200 people were imprisoned and 186 police officers were injured.

Now, two UK men have been sentenced to prison for attempting to use Facebook to provoke riots in northwest England.

Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, used Facebook in a failed attempt to encourage riots in their hometowns in England. Blackshaw created a Facebook event called "Smash d[o]wn in Northwich Town" for August 8 and Sutcliffe-Keenan made a Facebook page called "The Warrington Riots" on August 9. Sutcliffe-Keenan ended up deleting his page the next day.

According to BBC, the Facebook pages started out as a "misguided joke between the two men." Nevertheless, both were arrested, and both plead guilty and were found guilty under sections 44 and 46 of the Serious Crime Act to "intentionally encourage another to assist the commission of an indictable offense."

Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan were sentenced to four years in prison for their failed attempts to provoke riots using Facebook by Judge Elgan Edwards QC of Chester Crown Court.

"They both used Facebook to organize and orchestrate serious disorder at a time when such incidents were taking place in other parts of the country," said Martin McRobb, of the Merseyside and Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service. "Both defendants, in Northwich and Warrington respectively, sought to gain widespread support in order to replicate similar criminality. While the judge heard the two defendants were previously of good character, they admitted committing very serious offences that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years."

Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan are looking to appeal the sentence because they feel the punishment didn't match the offence.

"If we cast our minds back just a few days to last week and recall the way in which technology was used to spread incitement and bring people together to commit acts of criminality, it is easy to understand the four-year sentences that were handed down in court today," said Phil Thompson, assistant chief constable of the Cheshire Constabulary. "The sentences passed down today recognize how technology can be abused to incite criminal activity and sends a strong message to potential troublemakers about the extent to which ordinary people value safety and order in their lives and their communities. Anyone who seeks to undermine that will face the full force of the law."




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