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Four years jail for Facebook riot... that never happened

Two men who tried to incite a riot on Facebook have been handed the longest jail terms so far by British courts dealing with last week's rioting, looting and violence.

Jordan Blackshaw (20) and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan (22) were both sentenced to four years despite neither of the destructive events the men attempted to organise actually happening.

The pair appeared at Chester Crown Court after police discovered Facebook pages created by the men that urged rioting.

Blackshaw, of Northwich, Cheshire, set up an event entitled "Smash Down Northwich Town", and Sutcliffe-Keenan, of Warrington, created the page "Let's Have a Riot in Latchford".

Both men pleaded guilty to intentionally encouraging another to assist the commission of an indictable offence under sections 44 and 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

Neither Blackshaw nor Sutcliffe-Keenan were accused of rioting or looting themselves, yet the pair were given the lengthiest sentences so far.

The British Crown Prosecution Service defended the strict punishment of the pair. Lawyer Martin McRobb said the pages caused "significant panic and revulsion".

He said: "Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe independently and from the safety of their homes may have thought that it would be acceptable to set up a Facebook page to incite others to take part in disorders in Cheshire. They were wrong."