A teenager who posted bad taste jokes about April Jones on his Facebook page has been jailed for 12 weeks.
Matthew Woods made comments about April and Madeleine McCann. 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.
The court was told Woods’s Facebook page was available to a large number of people but there’s no mention of how many people actually saw it.
Martina Jay, persecuting, said: He saw a joke on Sickipedia [an online database devoted to sick jokes] and changed it slightly.
Among Woods’s comments were: Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid? In another he said: I woke up this morning in the back of a transit van with two beautiful little girls, I found April in a hopeless place. He also wrote: Could have just started the greatest Facebook argument EVER. April fools, who wants Maddie? I love April Jones. Also posted were comments of a more sexually explicit nature.
The CPS has confirmed that it reviewed the case and was content with the prosecution going ahead.
Offsite Comment: No one should be put in prison for making a joke that other people don’t like.
9th October 2012. See article from blog.indexoncensorship.org by Padraig Reidy