1. ITV Report

Southampton man jailed for Facebook riot posts

The Facebook posts could be accessed by anyone, the court heard Photo: PA

A man from Southampton who used Facebook to try to incite violence and urged others to attack the police and Muslims during the height of last summer's riots has been jailed for three years.

A jury took less than two hours to find Mitchell Stancombe, 21, guilty of encouraging and assisting people to commit violent disorder.

He made three posts on his personal page of the social networking site on August 9 starting with the words: "When are we going to start the Southampton riots then?"

When told to shut up by a friend, he replied: "LOL - do a few coppers in."

The posts, which could be accessed by anyone, were made during widespread rioting in Birmingham, Manchester, Derby, London and Liverpool.

Stancombe, from Totton near Southampton, denied the charge under section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

He told the jury his posts on his Facebook wall had been "blown out of proportion" and were "stupid and immature" and he did not intend for a riot to take place.

Stancombe's barrister Mark Ashley called his actions a "stupid and foolish few minutes of his life".

Hampshire police had been monitoring sites like Facebook during the riots and Stancombe was arrested.

Jailing him, Judge Gary Burrell said he accepted the posts had not led to violence and that no rioting took place in Southampton, but he told Stancombe, who works for an engineering firm, that the jail term was a "deterrent sentence to demonstrate this type of conduct will not be tolerated by the courts".

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