Today, two men were sentenced to four years in prison for ‘inciting disorder’ on facebook.
There is not much information about what was actually written on facebook by the pair, but apparently one of them set up a facebook page calling for a riot in Warrington town centre. There was no actual riot. I have to admit, setting up a page like that would be pretty stupid, but four years? Seriously, people get a lot less for a lot worse.
A ROAD safety charity has criticised the sentence given to a woman who walked free from court after causing the death of a father-of-two in a four-car smash between Sheffield and Barnsley.
Civil servant Yasmin Madigan, aged 46, who has four speeding convictions, was on her way to work when she tried to overtake a lorry in her Vauxhall Astra on Westwood New Road, Tankersley.
She pulled into the path of 47-year-old Michael Selwood’s Audi A3, sending it spinning into oncoming traffic, Barnsley magistrates heard. Mr Selwood, of Monk Bretton, Barnsley, died in hospital.
The court heard Madigan was convicted of speeding a day before the fatal smash last September. She also picked up speeding convictions in February, 2008, May 2009 and April 2010 and her own grandfather died in a road accident near the scene of the crash.
Prosecutor Ian Conway said she had a “propensity for bad driving and disregard for other road users”. He said: “She was intent on overtaking the lorry and crossed a solid white overtaking line.”
Allan Armbrister, defending, said Madigan, of Thorncliffe Way, Tankersley, felt “remorse and sorrow” and hoped Mr Selwood’s family would forgive her.
He added: “The defendant has to live with the fact someone was killed. She never wants to drive again.”
Mr Marks said the custody threshold had been passed but suspended the sentence. Madigan was given six months, suspended for 18 months, 220 hours of unpaid community work and was banned from driving for three years.
We have entered a new world of political prosecutions here. Recently, another man was arrested for organising a flash-mob water fight on Blackberry Messenger. This is something that compares to arrests by the Iranian authorities a fortnight ago, who arrested a group taking part in a water pistol fight!
There is also the case of Hollie Bentley. The 19 year old was arrested by Police who accused her of encouraging violent disorder. According to reports, she posted ‘Who’s up for it?’ on facebook…
Now I’m sure I wouldn’t need to look far to find a multitude of people on twitter and facebook encouraging violence towards looters or various other individuals or groups.
So where is this line being drawn? How do we prevent the state using such powers to prevent people organising a protest? What about freedom of speech?