'Facebook Rioters' Lose Appeal Against Prison Sentences

'Facebook Rioters' Lose Appeal Against Prison Sentences

Seven out of 10 sentence challenges brought by people jailed for crimes committed during August's riots have been rejected by Court of Appeal judges.

Two men given four-year terms for setting up Facebook pages inciting others to riot were among the failed appeals.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with the President of the Queen's Bench Division Sir John Thomas and Lord Justice Leveson, also dismissed five other appeals in burglary cases, but allowed three challenges relating to terms imposed for handling offences.

All 10 had urged the judges to find their sentences "excessive".

Lawyers for Jordan Blackshaw, 21, of Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, of Warrington, both Cheshire, who were given custodial sentences in the Facebook cases, told the court at a hearing last month that what their clients had done was "monumentally foolish", "hugely stupid" and "hugely short-sighted".

Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan pleaded guilty to encouraging others to commit crime - riot, burglary and criminal damage in the case of Blackshaw and riot in the case of Sutcliffe-Keenan.

As well as dismissing the appeals in the Facebook cases, the judges also rejected challenges in the following burglary cases: Enrico Vanasco, 25, who took a £300 camera from Jessops and was jailed for 20 months at Manchester Crown Court after admitting burglary; Hassan Halloway, 39, of Bennett Street, Crumpsall, who was jailed for four years and eight months at Manchester Crown Court after admitting burglary charges and violent disorder, and Territorial Army soldier Lorriane McGrane, 19, from Peckham, south-east London, who was jailed for 13 months at Inner London Crown Court after admitting stealing a television.

They also threw out the appeals of Michael Gillespie-Doyle, now 19, from Openshaw, who admitted burglary at Sainsbury's in Deansgate in Manchester city centre and was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to two years in a young offenders' institution, and Hasan Koyuncu, 18, who was sentenced at London's Wood Green Crown Court to 12 months in a young offenders' institution for burglary.

The appeals which were allowed were those of: Stephen Craven, 24, of Pendleton, who was jailed for 12 months, also at Manchester, after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods; David Beswick, 31, a coach driver, of Anson Street, Eccles, who was jailed for 18 months at Manchester Crown Court for handling stolen goods, and Stephen Carter, 26, of James Street, Salford, who was caught with a bag of clothes and shoes worth £500 and was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 16 months for theft by finding.

Craven, Beswick and Carter had new sentences imposed of six months, nine months and eight months respectively.


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