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Four year jail term for inciting violence on Facebook

Two men tried to encourage rioting in Cheshire

Two Brits have each been sentenced to four years in jail after using social network Facebook to encourage violence during the riots that took place in the UK last week.

Jordan Blackshaw, 21, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, both from Cheshire, pleaded guilty to sections 44 and 46 of the Serious Crime Act after they created an event on the social network called "Smash d[o]wn in Northwich Town". The event invited members of the social network to meet "behind maccies" (thought to be slang for McDonalds) on August 9 to "riot".

"We'll need to get this kickin off all over," Blackshaw wrote on the page for the event.

The police were alerted to the page after by members of the public.

"They both used Facebook to organise and orchestrate serious disorder at a time when such incidents were taking place in other parts of the country," said Martin McRobb, from the Merseyside and Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service

"Both defendants, in Northwich and Warrington respectively, sought to gain widespread support in order to replicate similar criminality."

According to Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, Phil Thompson, said: officers took swift action against those that had 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," he said.

"Anyone who seeks to undermine that will face the full force of the law."

Riots began in Tottenham on Saturday August 6 following a peaceful protest regarding the Police shooting of Mark Duggan. Other areas of London and around the country were then subject to "copycat criminal activity" over the following days, according to the Metropolitan Police.

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