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9 July 2013, 06:35
24 year old Reece Elliott from South Shields, who posted threats to kill 200 American students on Facebook has been jailed.
Thousands of children were kept away from school after sick messages were left on a tribute site for a 17-year-old Tennessee girl who was killed in a car accident.
With sensitivities heightened in the US following the Newtown shooting which saw 20 children and six adults shot in an elementary school, 3,000 pupils in the Warren County area missed school the next day.
Security was stepped up at schools across the area, as the authorities implemented "lockdown'' with armed guards on duty and restricted access to sites.
Elliott, a father-of-one, has admitted one count of making a threat to kill and eight of sending grossly offensive messages.
He's been sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison.
Using a false name, he wrote on the RIP Caitlin Talley page:
"My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting him in a dumpster.
Then I'm taking the motor and I'm going in fast.
I'm gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself. So you want to tell the deputy, I'm on my way.''
The court heard of the vile abuse Elliott directed at Caitlin, a popular pupil at Warren County High who had died in a car accident in October.
At his first appearance at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court in February, Gary Buckley, prosecuting, said:
"The residents of Warren County and all the people who have access to the Facebook page were clearly concerned.
I am told that the local authority immediately put all the local schools in the area on what was called lockdown.
Because of the hysteria caused, around 3,000 children were kept off school on that specific day.
Inquiries made by the FBI and Homeland Security managed to trace the user name to an address in this area.''
The American authorities contacted police and various inquiries were made in order to identify who made the postings.