A 22-year-old man has been charged on suspicion of making malicious comments on Facebook following the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby. Benjamin Flatters, of Lincoln, was arrested last night after complaints were made to Lincolnshire Police about comments made on Facebook, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature.
He was charged with an offence of malicious communications this afternoon in relation to the comments, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said. A second man was visited by officers and warned about his activity on social media, the spokesman added. It comes after 25-year-old Drummer Rigby was brutally murdered on a street in Woolwich, south east London, on Wednesday.
The father-of-one, from Manchester, had fought in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Flatters has been remanded in police custody and will appear before magistrates in Lincoln tomorrow. The charge comes after two men were earlier released on bail following their arrest for making alleged offensive comments on Twitter about the murder.
Complaints were made to Avon and Somerset Police about remarks that appeared on the social networking website, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature. A 23-year-old and a 22-year-old, both from Bristol, were held under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred.
Detective Inspector Ed Yaxley, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "On Wednesday evening, we were contacted by people concerned about comments made on social media accounts.
"We began inquiries into the comments and at around 3.20am two men, aged 23 and 22, were detained at two addresses in Bristol. The men were arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. Our inquiries into these comments continue. These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol. People should stop and think about what they say on social media before making statements as the consequences could be serious."
Police confirmed the two men were later released on bail pending further inquiries.
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