Two jailed for inciting disorder
Two men have been jailed for inciting disorder via social networking sites, police said.
The pair, who appeared at Chester Crown Court, were arrested last week following incidents of violent disorder in London and other English cities.
Jordan Blackshaw, 20, of Vale Road, Marston, Northwich, Cheshire and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Richmond Avenue, Warrington, were both sentenced to four years behind bars, Cheshire Police said.
The court heard that Cheshire Police discovered a Facebook event, entitled "Smash Down Northwich Town", created by Blackshaw.
Sutcliffe-Keenan also set up a Facebook page, encouraging disorder in his suburb of Warrington called "Let's Have a Riot in Latchford".
Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, Phil Thompson, said: "If we cast our minds back just a few days to last week and recall the way in which technology was used to spread incitement and bring people together to commit acts of criminality it is easy to understand the four-year sentences that were handed down in court today.
"In Cheshire, we quickly recognised the impact of the situation on our communities and the way in which social media was being used to promote and incite behaviour that would strike fear into the hearts of our communities.
"From the outset Cheshire Constabulary adopted a robust policing approach using the information coming into the organisation to move quickly and effectively against any person whose behaviour was likely to encourage criminality. Officers took swift action against those people who have been using Facebook and other social media sites to incite disorder.
"The sentences passed down today recognise how technology can be abused to incite criminal activity and sends a strong message to potential troublemakers about the extent to which ordinary people value safety and order in their lives and their communities. Anyone who seeks to undermine that will face the full force of the law."
Both men pleaded guilty to intentionally encouraging another to assist the commission of an indictable offence under sections 44 and 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007, the CPS said.