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British Teenager Jailed Over Facebook Comments

Lancashire teenager sentenced to three months in prison after posting 'abhorrent' jokes about missing girl on Facebook

by Steven Morris and Dan Sabbagh | The Guardian

A teenager who posted explicit comments and jokes about April Jones on his Facebook page has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Matthew Woods, 19, from Chorley, Lancashire, made comments about April and Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old who went missing during a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Woods was arrested for his own safety after about 50 people descended on his home. He pleaded guilty at Chorley magistrates court to sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive. The chairman of the bench, Bill Hudson, said Woods's comments were so "abhorrent" he deserved the longest sentence the court could hand down.

Hudson added: "The reason for the sentence is the seriousness of the offence, the public outrage that has been caused and we felt there was no other sentence this court could have passed which conveys to you the abhorrence that many in society feel this crime should receive."

Continue reading at The Guardian

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Cyril's picture

Okay, here's my take :

Okay, here's my take :

granted, this teenager seemingly has a poor judgment about what makes for a good or a bad taste joke.

But now, I'd like to attract the attention of Mr. Hudson on this, also shared by "means of public communications" :


What about THAT, Mr. Hudson ?

Or is it just not your problem because not done on British soil ?


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

This little bug deserves to be outcast....

but sent to jail....

Let society deal with him, not the government.


Protect your assets and profit from the greatest wealth transfer in history.

I agree!

Thanks for posting..


makes me want to go post some sick jokes simply to make a point.

right to free speech

but if I was a neighbour I would give him a tight slap, that should solve the problem... no need for government.

Yes use violence against an

Yes use violence against an individual that has harmed no one... it's the sheeple way.

England and their police state can all go fuck them selves!

Fuck the Queen and their anti liberty parliament!

America should invade England instead of the middle east!

America shouldn't be invading

America shouldn't be invading anyone unless it's in defense of an attack. If you want to invade England then have at it just don't force me to pay for your little adventure.


Try looking it up...it has a strong attachment to sarcasm...especially as it was just used above your pedantic pooping.

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?

i was joking and why are you forcing me in the middle east?

smart as comment gets a smart ass response.

How am I forcing you to do

How am I forcing you to do anything? You made an ignorant comment about attacking England and I called you on it. Sorry I missed your lame joke about killing people.

i never said kill people

i said invade. it was high pathetical comment since we love invading other country's why not invade country's who do not support freedom of speech and individual Liberty.

Did what this kid write

Did what this kid write infringe upon anyones life, liberty, or property? No... So all you little tyrant busybodies and taxfeeders should go pound sand!

see also...

Azhar Ahmed must do 240 hours of community service after writing on Facebook: 'All soldiers should die and go to hell'



Banks releasing a fake Libor rate = no jail time.

A drunk teenager posting a tasteless joke = jail time.


Great comparison!

Love it! How about this one, Banks commit fraud on the American people, and get our tax money to keep their doors open, but cops shut down lemonade stands for not having a proper permit.

The guy is a stupid d*** head

The guy is a stupid d*** head but posting crude jokes about a very sad event on facebook should not lead to 12 weeks in jail.

woops double post

woops double post

i just watched video of hilary clinton saying way more offensive

i just watched video of hilary clinton saying way more offensive comments about attacking Iran.... why don't they put her in jail?

if some popular comedian said "offensive" stuff would they go to jail? i'd like to see public reaction when they take ricky gervais or louis c.k. away

Good grief, I really begin to

Good grief, I really begin to wonder about Americans. I live in the UK. I'd rather be here than in a country with drones, NDAA, Guantanamo, Interventionist wars, a whole mucking debt crisis caused by your government's manipulation of the housing market, mafia instead of political parties, the TSA, Homeland Security, and a shedload of who knows what else.

There is no right to be an idiot at others expense. Any Libertarian who knows their stuff knows there is no right to shout fire in a crowded cinema. There is no right to post offensive comments online, and think it doesn't matter. Libertariansism does not equal licence.

We are no 'training ground' for anything; you guys dream them all up yourself, and we get the backwash over here. Your juvenile comments below just show how far America still has to come. Attack ideas, not people. If you can't tell the difference, then Libertariansism is really dead in the water.

This space available

From the UK here and what are you talking about?

Someone has been put in prison because of "the public outrage that has been caused" and "the abhorrence that many in society feel this crime" ... ect

He offended the mob made it angry so its jail for him.

People should not be put in prison for offending others, when people say they should it offends me, I feel it's abhorrent, should they be carted of to jail for inciting that in me?

It seems in your case freedom of speech is great until they say something you don't like...

I'm open to the suggestion, that there maybe grounds for imprisoning people for the way they use speech. In-cases where it's debatable its an initiation of aggression say psychological abuse, slander, harassment, conspiracy to commit crimes. But not for violating this stupid freedom crushing law "sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive"... Is frightening and ridiculous. Suppose the notion of freedom offended the mob? looks like its getting that way.

Too funny...

...since our "government", the real government who enacted all of the above rant, is centered in The City of London. Face it limey, we're all Bozo's on this Bus.

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?

That guy's behavior

should be dealt with privately by social shunning until he wises up. Social pressure has amazing powers. This is not a crime, but bad manners.

Domestic drones:

Domestic drones: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/07/drones-uk-civil-...

Detention: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/terroris...

Interventionist wars (McCain has some friends in the UK, they're sitting in David Cameron's cabinet - Hague, Osbourne, Gove - not to mention Cameron himself):


Interest rates:

Mafia parties:
To me the UK system of having the party establishment choose the MPs/MEPs/party leader (first round) instead of holding primaries (where grassroots candidates like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Kurt Bills and Kerry Bentivolio can win) is pretty bad. The UK system just strengthens the power of the party whip and allows them to expel {'deselect') anyone who disagrees with them (remember Bob Spink?). There's a reason why Daniel Hannan kisses Cameron's a** - he doesn't want to be deselected.

The UK has people even more intrusive than the TSA patrolling the streets! There is no 4th amendment equivalent, resulting in stuff like this:

See drones.

Free speech:

Gun control:

I live in the UK too and the notion that the USA is less free is completely untrue.

Support Rand, Amash & other liberty candidates? Check out: http://www.LibertyConservatives.com/

You're wrong on many levels

You're wrong on many levels and you're not a libertarian. This kids freedom of speech in no way put other lives directly into any danger, therefore the comparison to "yelling fire in a theater" is completely invalid. Yelling fire when there is none, puts other people's life directly in danger therefore it makes total sense for it to be illegal.

While I may agree with you about America's role in the housing crises, it's not like the U.K. is some libertarian utopia. And here you are playing this "my country is better than your country" teenage routine, yet you are unable to make the proper distinction between freedom of speech and the kind of speech which directly puts OTHER people in danger.

Not only is the UK not a

Not only is the UK not a libertarian utopia, in most aspects it is worse than the USA.

Support Rand, Amash & other liberty candidates? Check out: http://www.LibertyConservatives.com/


the comments the guy made on facebook are not even in the same league as shouting fire in a crowded cinema. Who exactly did he endanger? If you shout fire in a crowded cinema people can actually get physically injured, this guy made an ass of himself on facebook and if the family is actually FB "friends" with him they should reevauluate that friendship.

Clearly, the guy's an a-hole but a criminal?


Bank of ENGLAND running the whole thing! I fear.;-)) But you feel good!! NOW .....Peace!
Ps: Thanks for John Locke ;-)

so to summarise:

you think UK is better than USA and people should be sent to jail if they say/ write something offensive to the general public? and who gets to judge what is offensive? in USA teenagers talk all kinds of trash, ALL THE TIME and if it's really stupid, what they say, people simply acknowledge the person who's saying it as ignorant and/or jerks.

why do you or your "newspapers" care what some teen bloke wanker has to say about a missing baby anyways?