A man who posted “despicable” comments on his Facebook page about missing youngster April Jones has been jailed for 12 weeks.
Matthew Woods (19), from Chorley, Lancashire, made a number of derogatory posts about April and missing Madeline Mc Cann after getting the idea from Sickipedia — a website that “trades in sick jokes”.
He also wrote comments of a sexually explicit nature about the five-year-old who went missing last week from near her home in Machynlleth, mid Wales.
A “vigilante mob” of around 50 people later descended upon his home address in Eaves Lane.
Unemployed Woods was arrested for his own safety on Saturday night and was remanded in custody ahead of his appearance at Chorley Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive.
Chairman of the bench, Bill Hudson, said Woods's comments were so serious and “abhorrent” it deserved the longest sentence they could pass, less a third to give credit for his early guilty plea.
He said: “We have listened to the evidence in what can only be described as a disgusting and despicable crime and the bench finds was completely abhorrent.”
He added that families involved in cases such as these should not have to be subjected to any use of social media like this.
He said only a custodial term in a young offender institute was appropriate, which was greeted by applause from around 30 people sitting in the public gallery.
Woods smirked as members of the public clapped before he was led from the dock.