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 commentsJudge 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.