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Facebook Pair Jailed Over Riots Challenge 'Excessive' Sentences

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Two men jailed for four years for setting up Facebook pages inciting others to riot have challenged their "manifestly excessive" custodial terms.


Lawyers for Jordan Blackshaw, 20, of Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Warrington, both Cheshire, told three Court of Appeal judges that what their clients had done was "monumentally foolish", "hugely stupid" and "hugely short-sighted".


But they urged the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting in London with Lord Justice Thomas and Lord Justice Leveson, to rule that their sentences were too long.


The judges are hearing 10 Crown Court cases, the first sentence challenges by defendants jailed for their involvement in the August riots.


At the start of the hearing Lord Judge announced that the court would not be giving judgment on the appeals on Tuesday.


Chester Crown Court had heard that Blackshaw set up a Facebook event called Smash Down In Northwich Town but nobody turned up at the meeting point outside a McDonald's restaurant.


Sutcliffe-Keenan's page, The Warrington Riots, invited people to riot on the evening of Wednesday August 10 between 7pm and 10pm.


Gareth Roberts, counsel for Blackshaw, told the appeal judges: "Four years goes well beyond what could be a properly deterrent sentence and could properly be deemed to be a fair sentence, even in the context of what was going on nationwide."


Solicitor-advocate Rebecca Tanner, representing Sutcliffe-Keenan, told the court that the four years imposed on him was manifestly excessive "in all the circumstances of the case and the offender".


His actions on that day were "hugely stupid and hugely short-sighted" but the sentence was "simply too long", she said.

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