Two men who were issued a 4-year jail sentence for using Facebook to incite riots in England last week are to appeal their punishment.
A judge at Chester Crown Court ruled that Jordon Blackshaw, 21, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, were guilty under sections 44 and 46 of the Serious Crime Act to intentionally encouraging another to assist the commission of an indictable offence. The judge said he hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent.
Both men admitted to encouraging crime in the town of Northwich although the riots never broke out. They said they had caused a very real panic in their Cheshire towns at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation.
The four year sentence is the longest that has been issued in relation to last week's riots. The ruling has sparked much controversy as the men had no previous convictions and the riots never broke out.
Blackshaw's solicitor said that his client's family was shocked by the sentence. The idea has started out as a misguided joke between the two men, the BBC reported.
Sutcliffe-Keenan's solicitor said she did not anticipate the sentence would be as long as four years and said her client would be appealing on the grounds that the sentence was disproportionate to the offence.
"Obviously, as a 22 year old, in his situation, knowing that ultimately whilst he'd been extremely foolish, I think he was shocked, given that his view would be he hadn't actually caused any physical hurt or physical harm, or caused any damage as a result of his actions," she said
Blackshaw was accused of creating a Facebook event called "Smash d[o]wn in Northwich Town, intended for the receipt of the "Mob Hill Massive Northwich Lootin," calling for people to meet on Aug.9 between 13.00 and 16.00 BST, behind McDonalds.