Southampton Man Jailed For ‘Facebook Riot Messages’


A Southampton Man has been jailed for three years after messages he posted on Facebook last August.

Mitchell Stancombe, a 21-year old mechanic, posted the messages on the social networking site during the height of last year’s riots, as the violence spread out of London across to other British cities.

In response, the jury delivered a unanimous verdict, claiming that the comments were directly trying to incite violence and disorder in the city. As Judge Gary Burrell QC handed down his sentence, he said it was “merciful” that no one had acted on his comments and that the sentence was to act as a “deterrent” for such behaviour.

It is “merciful” that no one actually acted upon these comments

Judge Gary Burrell QC

The trouble began when Stancombe posted “When are we going to start the riots in Southampton then?”. After being told to shut up friends – and that facebook was being monitored by the police – he posted further messages advocating violence against the police and Muslims; “LOL – do a few coppers in” and “the Muslim revolt”

Stancombe denied the charge of encouraging and assisting people to commit violent disorder, claiming that the post were an “ill-advised joke” and that they had been “blown out of proportion”.

However, the jury decided that in the context of the rioting across England, the posts were intentionally trying to create violent disorder and rioting in Southampton.


Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar

    Wow Wessex Scene, looks like you guys figured out how to use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V…

    Alexander James Green

    Not sure what you are expecting from a student newspaper which has to get the story from other publications. It is a news piece after all, so has to to convey the same facts.

    Either way, we can’t win: either the news articles are “badly written” or “copied”. I can assure you though I did not copy and paste.

    Glad you liked the article though

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