British courts under fire for tough justice after riots | Pakistan Today

British courts under fire for tough justice after riots

Campaigners criticised Britain’s courts Wednesday for imposing overly harsh sentences for last week’s unrest after two men were jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite riots that never took place.
The sentences given to Jordan Blackshaw, 20, from Cheshire, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, from Warrington, both in northwest England, are the longest yet imposed following four frenzied nights of violence in which five people died.
Prosecutors said the men’s online calls to riot caused “significant panic and revulsion” even though no one answered their plea, while Prime Minister David Cameron has been clear that offenders must be punished with jail terms.
However, justice campaigners and lawyers warned that as the courts continue to process almost 1,200 suspected offenders following the riots, some of the sentences given were out of proportion and risked undermining the entire system.
“The rush to send a message out is leading to some very bad sentences, which will be overturned on appeal,” said Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns for the Howard League for Penal Reform.
He said it was “understandable” that the riots be treated as an “aggravating factor”, but added: “In the Facebook case we’re talking about four years’ jail which would normally be associated with serious and violent offences.”
The sentences compare with typical punishments of four years for a mugging with a weapon.
Blackshaw and Sutcliffe-Keenan, who do not know each other, both pleaded guilty to intentionally encouraging another person to assist the commission of an indictable offence, and were sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Monday.
Tough sentences were given to three other looters at Manchester Crown Court on Monday, and Judge Andrew Gilbart said “outbursts” of criminal behaviour like the looting and rioting “must be met with sentences longer” than if they were committed in isolation.

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One Comment;

  1. AftabWilson said:

    It was a Mutiny type of riots in UK which should not be acceptable in a developed country. Those involved in these loot and plunder must be punished so that some example is set. Burning private properties, vehicles, shops etc …. on such a large scale must not be taken easily. I agree with PM David Cameron that offenders must be punished with jail terms.

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