North West Men Lose Facebook Sentence Appeal
18 October 2011, 14:04
Seven out of 10 sentence challenges brought by people jailed for crimes committed during August's riots, including two men from Cheshire, have been rejected by Court of Appeal judges.
Lawyers for Jordan Blackshaw, 21, of Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Warrington, who were given four-year terms for setting up Facebook pages inciting others to riot, told the court at a hearing last month that what their clients had done was "monumentally foolish'', "hugely stupid'' and "hugely short-sighted''.
Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan pleaded guilty to encouraging others to commit crime - riot, burglary and criminal damage in the case of Blackshaw and riot in the case of Sutcliffe-Keenan.
As well as dismissing the appeals in the Facebook cases, the judges also rejected challenges in five burglary cases.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said: "There can be very few decent members of our community who are unaware of and were not horrified by the rioting which took place all over the country between August 6 and August 11, 2011.
For them, these were deeply disturbing times. The level of lawlessness was utterly shocking and wholly inexcusable.''
On the issue of "sentencing principles'', Lord Judge said: "It is very simple. Those who deliberately participate in disturbances of this magnitude, causing injury and damage and fear to even the most stout-hearted of citizens, and who individually commit further crimes during the course of the riots, are committing aggravated crimes. They must be punished accordingly, and the sentences should be designed to deter others from similar criminal activity.''