I am delighted that scumbags now actually get what's coming to them. I am not delighted that the Bearded Sandal-wearing lefties* are up in arms about it.
*also submitted for your consideration.
Two men have been banged up for four years apiece, after unsuccessfully inciting violent disorder on Facebook. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, of Vale Road in Marston near Northwich and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Richmond Avenue, Warrington, were handed the harsh sentences at Chester Crown Court yesterday. "If we cast our minds …
This has been doing the rounds in our office this morning. General consensus is, "Good. Make an example of 'em", with a few folk saying that the sentences are too steep.
Either way, whether they were joking or not (and probably not), they deserve a fecking kicking. People are now dead and scores of people have had their lives damaged or ruined by the actions of the rioters.
Personally, I think they got what they deserve. Don't drop the soap, boys!
Show-trials reminiscent of good ole failed commie states. Rapists and killers getting less. A prime-minister giving his mates a second chance, but no chances for the average joe. Corrupt police handing over personal data for tens of thousands of pounds but not going to jail, police harassing photographers in the street, police killing innocent people, members of Parliament flipping mortages, claiming ridiculous expenses and getting off with a smack on the wrist VS a mother of two getting several months for accepting a pair of stolen shorts, four years for Facebook idiocy, another jailtime for stealing a bottle of water.
Do as I say, not as I do. This country is sick, and that sickness starts at the top. What justice is there when 'justice' is two-tiered ? I'm all for justice and in fact I'm all for a two-tiered system, but it should be the reverse of what it apparently is now. Politicians and those in positions of power should be held to a far higher standard than the average joe, and any malfeasance, corruption, whatever, should be treated extra-harshly in their case. As it is I just despair at the hypocrisy and the utter abject failure of politics and 'justice' in the UK.
> That works great if anybody thinks they will get caught when they commit a crime.
Tough sentences are pretty much wholly ineffective when the probability of detection tends towards zero.
IMO, this is about the one good thing coming out of the aftermath here: the Police are actually making an effort to investigate the crimes and prosecute the criminals.
It's just a shame they don't do this more often - handing out crime numbers doesn't actually reduce the number of break-ins :-(
 I know people will bleat about budgets here - if budgets are so tight, how come they can find the cash to post a bobby on a bridge to prevent the heinous crime of cycling on the pavement?
Recap. Judge hits person found guilty of incitement to riot with a punishment within the bracket of his *EXISTING!!!* minimum to maximum powers.
You appear to be complaining that you don't think he should be punished as the judge considers to be appropriate because it may not deter anybody else from getting caught committing crimes because they don't think they will get caught when they commit a crime.
Yes. I think people should be appropriately punished. Why?
Many years of your kind of thinking in the criminal justice system has lead to this:-
Habitual criminals with no care about what happens when they get caught. He had 25 convictions for 53(!!!) offences, and yet was still loose on the streets. Read what the police are saying. This is common. Most of the crime is being done by known offenders with bloody huge lists of convictions because they don't care what happens when they get caught.
Why? It is evident that liberal intervention policies in his previous TWENTY FIVE! convictions did not reform him. Therefore I simply want him removed from society for as long as possible. This is both as punishment and to reduce the effect of crime on the innocent. You presumably want a slap on the wrist and a 26th attempt at reforming him.
I'm afraid this is now at the point we cannot agree to disagree. Clearly the facts (damned inconvenient things, aren't they?) show that liberal policies have not worked despite having plenty of time to try them. If they worked then 15 odd years of Labour government would have demonstrated it. They have failed, and it's time for a new (or old, proven) approach.
"Many years of your kind of thinking in the criminal justice system has lead to this:-
So blogs are reputable sources now?
"Read what the police are saying. This is common. Most of the crime is being done by known offenders with bloody huge lists of convictions because they don't care what happens when they get caught."
Recidivism is a problem for all societies whether they have "tough" or liberal justice policies. Tough justice is uncivilised AND expensive AND futile.
"Therefore I simply want ..."
Great. Society. You may consider that some form of leftist collectivism, but we all benefit from it. I simply want the punishment fetishists to have some humanity beaten into them, but fortunately for you ...
"Clearly the facts (damned inconvenient things, aren't they?) show that liberal policies have not worked despite having plenty of time to try them."
Facts? Oh fuck off. You've posted a link to a blog by an interested party. We can all cherry pick the data to support an argument.
Trouble is increasingly over the last two decades no one has been telling kids not to do that (or anything else) in the first place.
I can forgive kids for growing up thinking they can do anything they like and if anything bad happens it will be someone else's fault for allowing it.
The state nurtured false self esteem and sense of entitlement in them and now is almost bragging about how much they are going to punish them for crossing some line they never told them about.
I would rather see 300 Labour politicians in jail than the rioters and the Tories are barely better.
Your comment is very funny.
Please explain why inciting people to riot should not be punished severely. People lost their businesses, homes and in some cases their lives in this looting spree.
Additionally, the trials taking place are self evidently not show trials, and if your interested you can go and watch them from the public gallery. Those being caught and found guilty are indisputably guilty of the crimes they stand accused of, given the CCTV evidence or the fact that they didn't make any attempt to hide their identity when using electronic services.
The rioters and the looters are answerable and there is a need to send a message to them and others. This situation is currently being dealt with and it is a matter for debate whether it is being dealt with correctly.
There is another issue, one of the probity and accountability of the nation's representatives (the policians and the police). It is also a matter of debate whether it is being dealt with adequately.
But these are separate debates and should remain so. It is a distraction to muddle the two and there is a risk that neither issue will be properly addressed if we resort to "but look over there, it's not fair, one rule for them etc etc". Don't provide people with the opportunity to escape responsibility or to manufacture spurious excuses for their actions ("well they were on the take so I did too") by clouding the issues.
The dangers of whataboutery are apparent, the stamping of feet and screaming "but look what he did" is the refuge of a 5 year old on a tantrum.
If people were that concerned about MP's on the fiddle why did so many of the buggers get back in? Could it be that in certain parts of the country you could shave a chimp and stick a rosette on it )pick a colour) and people would vote according to their own prejudice.
The people complaining the sentences are too harsh should have the complaints dealt with by courts of appeal, NOT politicians of any stripe, otherwise we get into the hand wringing mess that has encouraged British society to allow adults to abdicate any sense of personal responsibility in favour of bleating about how they are victims of circumstance.
"So ... some people are more equal than others?"
Well, that will certainly be the outcome if people are allowed to absolve themselves of their culpability by pointing the finger at others rather than be answerable for what they have done.
To repeat, if someone has escaped the consequences of their own wrongdoing then it does not set a precedent for everyone else. There's a real danger that nothing will get fixed if this comes down to lots of discussion about whose crimes are worse than whose.
And can you guess what the outcome of a ruling class getting away with it is?
"Well, that will certainly be the outcome if people are allowed to absolve themselves of their culpability by pointing the finger at others rather than be answerable for what they have done."
Yes. So. Punish the so-called ruling classes when they transgress. No?
"if someone has escaped the consequences of their own wrongdoing then it does not set a precedent for everyone else."
I think you'll find that it does. We're humans. We copy. That's what we do. From theft, to WMDs, the principle of do as I say not as I do carries no weight or virtue.
"So. Punish the so-called ruling classes when they transgress. No?"
Absolutely yes. There is no distinction in the eyes of the law. If someone hasn't been punished then apprehend them and call them to account.
"I think you'll find that it does. We're humans. We copy." but we shouldn't and we shouldn't be allowed to.
I don't think "the ruling classes" (as you describe them) are above the law. Neither do I think that any other group can excuse themselves from responsibility either. The problem (I have) with your stance is that you allow these groups to do what they do because presumably you have ennobled them as a consequence of their (supposedly) lowly status - somehow what they do is excused because they know not /what/ they do; the system has failed them because they live in ignorant poverty, bereft of opportunity? Whereas your so-called ruling class is morally bankrupt in spite of their privileges and education? I think this is a fallacy central to the thinking of the liberal elite.
The problem is, by taking sides, neither of the problems (the criminal, ignorant underclass and the corrupt, greedy elite) are solved in any meaningful way.
" There is no distinction in the eyes of the law."
And my position is that, given that the ruling classes regularly let themselves off, and have been doing so for quite awhile, they have set precedence for the rest of us. If there is no distinction in the eyes of the law, then we should receive the same sanctions as they do.
But the point you keep trying to miss is that actions of the ruling classes have had consequences. People are now in a position to rationalise away poor behaviour.
"I don't think 'the ruling classes' (as you describe them) [...]"
That's somebody else's description. Hence "so-called". But how would you like me to refer to them? The Upper Ten?
"The problem (I have) with your stance ..."
But what follows isn't my stance.
"you allow these groups to do what they do because presumably you have ennobled them as a consequence of their (supposedly) lowly status [...] Whereas your so-called ruling class is morally bankrupt in spite of their privileges and education?"
Where have I stated any of these opinions? Quote me, or apologise.
I haven't excused the looters, have I? Which is where your argument rather falls apart. I consider both parties morally bankrupt. Despite my privileges and education.
"I think this is a fallacy central to the thinking of the liberal elite."
The real fallacy is the continued use of "liberal elite" as a signifier of any relevance or merit.
First rule of doing bad things: Get other people to do it for you.
"I'll be at McDonalds to start the bad time rolling."
"Meet at McDonalds and get stuff rolling, I'll join you later."
One of these leads to you getting your collar felt as soon as you arrive.
The other has you sat nice and warm in your control centre and you can do a nice safe pass by to see if it'll be safe to join in.
Disclaimer: Thinking about this from a purely tactical/strategic point of view rather than an "I'm a rioter" pov.
Four years in the slammer - two if they behave - is certainly going to make these individuals better citizens. Where's the sarcasm icon?
(Yes, for the punishment fetishists amongst us, they did show up to riot and thus aren't merely being banged up for saying "Let's riot!" but by the time people get nicked for clicking the "like" button, Dave Cameron and chums will have a very small finger to wag at the Chinese and other nasty regimes.)
I'm mixed about this.
First and foremost, they got hauled in front of the beak and given a criminal record. Job well done.
I'm not so sure about the sentence length though and my comparison is this.
Those involved in the rioting/looting etc, have been hauled in front of magistrates and given sentences of between 4 & 6 months. (http://www.gmp.police.uk/disorderconvictions)
These guys, who tried to incite violence gets 4 years. I'm mixed because I cannot see what was worse, trying and failing to incite violence or actual being involved in the violence.
If they have incited and succeeded, then 4 year porridge would be minimum sentence in my view.
Any other views?
It's like any 'attempted' crimes eg attempted murder - this is usually treated almost as severely as murder, ince the *intention* was to do so - if it wasn;t then it'd be manslaughter.
In this case their intention was to cause a riot; it was just (our) good luck that they failed, so they have been (correctly in my view) dealt with in the same manner as if they'd been sucessful.
The sentences for people who have got 4/6 months were not people who tried/suceeded in *starting* the riots, but rather idiots who joined in.
always had an issue with the "attempted" charges anyway, Why is murder worse than attempted murder? The sought after outcome is the same, why should it matter that you were not successful?
I suppose the same applies here, inciting others is just as bad as doing the deed. If I stand there and say stamp on that blokes head I am just a culpable of his GBH/murder as you would be for doing the stamping.
I suppose the real question is why are some people getting such lenient sentences?
One of things about this that I find worrying is that it is politicans who demanded Magistrates ramp up penalties, in a fairly quick manner. Justice Clerks in Magistrates Courts have been advising Magistrates to disregard usual sentencing guidelines, resulting in more cases going to Crown Court, as Magistrates have a quite limited arsenal of sentencing powers. So, who specifically advises these Justice Clerks? There needs be absolute transparancy over this, or we´re no better than some of the dodgy regimes we constantly harp on about.
Many Magistrates are already suggesting that quite a few of these sentences could be overturned quite easily upon appeal. Both of these numpties are already planning to appeal.
Personally, I do think these idiots deserve their sentences. But giving looters/rioters six months (guilty plea) by comparison is simply bonkers, by comparison.
As for comments about only liberal lefties being concerned about this, I think many people of all persuasions are slighlty unnerved by this.
The application of the law needs to be consistent and this simply isn´t consistent.
4 years does seem way too long for this offence and to be honest, a couple of thousand hours of community service would probably be a better alternative and actually get them doing something useful.
But then my opinion would be hugely swayed if they have a long list of previous offences.
According to this blog from a social worker who deals with the "rehabilitation" and community service part of sentences passed down.
Learning quite a lot about the problems is quite trivial for anybody with a web browser.
... the author of that blog does a great line in hearsay evidence:
"Later on I have a discussion with another Youth Offending Officer who informs me that as part of their orders many Young Offenders are required to engage in education, but that some officers wont breach them for failing to attend a course in that they believe it is against their human rights to coerce them in to education."
Is already reflected in the sentence as the judge takes that off before giving it out. So presumably, the judge thought they would have deserved over 5 years if they hadn't pleaded guilty.
So, come to think of it, that guy tweeting about blowing up the airport - he got off pretty lightly.
> a four year stretch makes a big difference in when they're allowed out
It also makes quite a difference to how life works for them once they are released.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 allows offences to become spent after a suitable amount of time has passed. This means that a former criminal does not have to declare those convictions except under exceptional circumstances.
But RoA74 does not permit custodial sentences of more that 2.5 years to become spent - ever. So these two guys have got a permanent record now; they will always have to declare these convictions when asked about previous criminal behaviour.
FWIW I think that the sentences are somewhat harsh - for this reason alone, if nothing else. But they are clearly within the permitted limits for the crime, so I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it...
 Absent a successful appeal, of course.
> A prime-minister giving his mates a second chance
So the only people who deserve second chances are drug dealers, murderers and rapists.
> Corrupt police handing over personal data for tens of thousands of pounds
Still under investigation, but since it is the police I guess they are guilty until proven innocent.
> police killing innocent people
> members of Parliament etc..
Something I agree with
> mother of two getting several months for accepting a pair of stolen shorts
So mothers should be exempt from justice? Of course, she had nothing to do with the other £700 worth of looted clothes found in *her* home.
> four years for Facebook idiocy,
Nope. Four years for inciting violent disorder
> another jailtime for stealing a bottle of water.
Nope. Jail time was for BURGLARY and theft.
I am a big fan of more harshly punishing looters than people convicted of similar crimes in different circumstances - it needs to be deterred good and proper. However, I wonder to what extent this was a piss take?
Is there really a "Mob Hill Massive"? Do gangs of youths call themselves "massives" after what Ali G did to the word? Have the police arrested fans of Staines Town FC, who call themselves the "Staines Massive" following Ali G?
Maybe it's for real, but you have to wonder.
It costs a tad over £200 per DAY to keep someone in prison, according to the Northern Ireland Prison Service in a FOI reply some years ago (just google "UK cost of keeping a person in prison" and look for the pdf). The breakdown is:
"£149 staff costs, £42 non staff costs, including items such as prisoner healthcare, education and food, energy costs, staff training, travel and uniforms. The balance of £31 comprises non cash charges to the accounts including depreciation, cost of capital charges and provisions."
Can we not have weekend prisons like in Norway? Or compulsory litter duty on Saturdays for a couple of years? Might be able to keep some schools open and build a health centre or two then.
What about all the people actually smashing stuff up, breaking windows so those less brave/stupid can steal? Those throwing bricks at the police and setting fire to cars? It's great that so many people have been arrested over the riots but sending someone to jail for stealing a bottle of water or receiving stolen shorts is bloody expensive and doesn't really get at the core trouble makers.
Likewise for these two buffoons, I don't have a problem with them getting jail terms but I'm more concerned that the people who incited riots that actually happened get sent down.
It's not about number of people arrested and sentenced, we need to make sure it's the people who were at the centre of this get punished. Seems that anyone who smashed but didn't grab has gotten away with it...
How can expressing ones opinion be a crime? No matter if the opinion is absurd, horrible, pro- or anti-terrorism?
Well, europe is working hard on borrowing itself back to the dark ages, but maybe south america and africa can become the last outposts of the free when EU becomes a new soviet?
Let's hope so.
We don't do freedom of speech the same over here chum. Here are a list of things which are criminal speech in the UK (ie, illegal to express), which override the concept of free speech:
Incitement to riot
Incitement to racial hatred
Incitement to religious hatred
Incitement to terrorism
Dissemination of terrorist publications
Threatening, abusive or insulting speech or behaviour
Treason, including imaging the death of the monarch*
Indecency or corruption of public morals/outraging public decency
Prior restraint of the material
Scandalizing the court (eg criticizing a judge)
These cretins attempted to incite a riot. The sentences should be increased from normal, since the country itself was in an aggravated state due to prior rioting.
As to 'ruining these boy's lives', these are two people who on hearing about the riots, thought "I know, lets smash up and steal stuff from my local town" - they've ruined their own lives.
* We may be able to get Big Ears convicted on this one
... I share the sentiments expressed by Super Tim (top), I can't help thinking that a few months hard graft doing some worthy community service would have been a more constructive approach.
Also, in relation to this recent thuggery, I find myself frequently thinking that it is also possible to gather a large, coordinated, crowd of "yoof" together and have them, willingly, do something good. But then such activity would hardly make the headlines I suppose.
There are many, many, more kind, considerate and positive young people in our society, from all backgrounds, whom we should be making more of a noise about methinks. Let them come forth and be counted, and showered with techno-bling in reward for services given to their communities. Then see if the thuggish crowd wains somewhat.
Apply the positive spin to this, rather than focusing on and giving "air-time" to the pond-life that want their rule. Just a thought.
"The court hoped that the hefty sentences would deter others from writing similar stupid posts on social networks."
We're arresting people for making stupid comments on the internet now? Looks like the police are going to be on overtime with all the trolls.......what the hell........I DIDN'T POST THAT, SOMEONE HACKED MY ACCOUNT! DON'T TASE ME BR <kzzzzzt>
They were said to be of "previous good character", so may not have had any record. I'm surprised they couldn't convince the court that the FB posting was meant in jest and pleaded guilty. Most of these rioters seem to have trouble finding half-decent lawyers.
I'm quite happy with many of the sentences being handed out to the rioters but
(a) 4 years does seem very excessive in this case
(b) Sentences in a non-riot situation (including those for "middle class" crimes like dangerous driving) need to be brought up to the same sort of level if this isn't going to be seen as a knee-jerk, punish the chavs measure. If prison is too expensive to house everyone, make it cheaper and get rid of some of the home comforts!
Yes, these two were twats of the highest order and, no, I don't feel sorry for them.
But, it seems like these two may have received the longest sentences so far -- and they didn't actually do anything!
What kind of a fucking joke of a country is it where you can take possession of a stolen telly and get six months, but do fuck all and get four years?
As has been mentioned above -- all this jail time will do is create two unemployable, angry, more criminally savvy young men. Let's hope they only steal from judges and politicians when they get out -- because I'd be very surprised if they don't start stealing from someone.
DrXym hit the nail on the head "They incited serious crimes and AT LEAST ONE OF THEM turned up for the riot he was inciting."
In a nutshell, it's the tarring everybody with the same brush element of things that encapsulates my concern at our sentencing policy. If one of them posted a time and place and turned up in the expectation there would be violence, and the other posted something stupid for a laugh, then had seconds thought and took it down and didn't follow it through, why have they both got exactly the same sentence?
Or the guy who stole a bottle of water. If 5 minutes earlier he'd been throwing bricks through car windows and burglary is all they had photographic evidence of then fair enough, 6 months is the minimum he deserves. But if he was just a more or less innocent bystander, who happened to pass an open shop front after the rioters had left, reached in a grabbed a bottle of water, then it isn't obvious why he should be punished worse than a shoplifter just because other people that night happened to be rioting.
It doesn't matter if nobody acted on their incitement, it's still incitement according to the law. Read the serious crimes act (link in article) section 44 & 46 which they were charged with. In particular 46.1.a "[someone] does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of one or more of a number of offences".
Setting up a facebook page to organise a riot at a time that other riots are occurring seems pretty clear cut case of incitement. I expect if other riots hadn't been going on that their sentences would have been more lenient, but hey ho I don't really have much sympathy for them.
aren't the same thing. By "doing nothing" I take it you mean "hasn't caused actual harm"
It's like saying that a dangerous driver, drunk, speeding or otherwise; isn't "doing anything" until they smash into something.
Or a person firing a gun into the air isn't "doing anything" until they hit someone.
It ain't your legal prerogative "human right" to do stuff which demonstrably endangers other people.
I bet the min and max sentence for inciting a riot is far mor than stealing chewing gum or jeans.
Even smashing findows and setting cars on fire is probly less.
hence the tougher sentence
They cant catch the real rioters only charge them with specfics, like badmouthing a copper.
and also they can only catch the ones too stupid to cover their faces.
As the state wants to intimidate rather than be just
one year for using social networking
one year for having an Apple product ( itwat )
one year for not knowing someone from the "old school"
one year for being young
How dare you type stuff into a computer people!
I thought this government may have been a bit more with it than the last when it came to the internet / law / censorship and the like, but it seems as if the same old drums are being banged.
Long sentences do not deter impulsive crimes because no one believes they are going to be caught ( or know how long the sentence will be before hand). It is about intimidation. I wonder how this will be used against peaceful demonstrators in the future?
One would hope so, but there has been a worrying trend in using anti terrorist laws against to hinder gatherings for peaceful protest in recent years. The police have used this in the past to stop people getting to protests under New Labour, bit ironic as it will be more likely used against the union marches ( not that I am a union fanboy)
Deary me - the question really shouldn't be whether this is fair compared to other penalties that have been applied in the judicial history of the UK, but whether it's actually effective in the aim of detering crime and stopping re-offending.
Personally, I'm comfortable with this verdict in its glorious isolation, given the likely discounts that will apply. I'm not totally certain that it will stop re-offending, but it might have a reasonable deterrent effect. I think that if you aim to start a riot - regardless of success - then you need to take full responsibility for the event you have declared you want to take responsibility for, and all its negative effects.
The looters in general have cost the nation hundreds of millions of pounds at the least. It seems to me that there should be some way for them to bring money back into the economy. I suggest that as a community service type sentence they should have to run the nationalised banks free of charge.
They are vile looting scum who went out with no moral sense to destroy, steal and burn everything they could so they're a lot better than the people running the banks at the moment and think of the savings on bonuses!
Bored of hearing about how "it's not fair 'cuz they got 4 years and the MPs got nuffin". It's easy to argue that the facebookers should have had no sentence on this basis, when in reality both these idiots AND the law-breaking MPs (also idiots - subtle distinction) should receive sentencing.
Yes it's corrupt, but if you stop throwing criminals in jail because white-collar crime slips through the net then things will be a hell of a lot worse.
All or nothing? No. All, or some, but NEVER nothing.
You can't deter determined people but you can deter the cowards who run in the shadows of others.
With the courts saying - I don't care if you're a first time offender - you are going to prison if you do this stuff - maybe the cowards will think a bit before they become they become hangers on to riots.
And as most of the rioters probably fell into the cowards category maybe some deterrence leaves the hard-core a bit tto exposed for their own liking.
Mr DC falsely claims £680 says sorry. Apparently, everyone was doing it and so we thought it was OK. Pays it back - sentence none, not even arrested.
The people embarrass the establishment, make the law look like the ass it is, then two pillocks _fail_ to incite a riot they get 4 years.
"They incited serious crimes and at least one of them turned up for the riot he was inciting. It may well be no one bothered to join them but that isn't an excuse under the law."
I thought no one apart from one of the convicted turned up, therefore there was no actual riot, or crime of riot (I think you need to have 3 or more people involved for it to be a riot). So how did they incite serious crime?
to murder "Anonymous Coward" but he doesn't do it, does that mean that I haven't doen anything wrong?
Anonymous Coward didn't die and I didn't hand over any cash, the result doesn't matter. The fact is they tried to get people to riot, in which more live could have been destroyed or even lost.
Thats the point here, the people who started the riots probably didn't set out with the thought of killing anyone but people died.
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