Skip to comments.April Jones: Matthew Woods jailed for Facebook posts about missing 5 year old
Posted on 10/08/2012 9:37:35 AM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
A Lancashire man who posted offensive comments on Facebook about missing five-year-old April Jones has been jailed for 12 weeks.
Matthew Woods, 20, made a number of derogatory posts about April and missing Madeline McCann.
He appeared at Chorley Magistrates' Court where he admitted sending a grossly offensive public electronic communication.
Woods, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, was handed the maximum sentence.
Chairman of the bench, magistrate Bill Hudson, said his comments were so serious and "abhorrent" that he deserved the longest sentence they could pass, less a third to give credit for his early guilty plea.
Mark Bridger, 46, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court earlier charged with April's murder.
He is also charged with child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
I guess they would burn him at the stake if he had insulted muzzie’s favorite morehammed?
Says in the article he was arrested originally for his own safety, as an angry mob was starting to gather outside his house.
Bring back dueling and perhaps people would be more civil. Don’t you just “love” the post modern world?
"Hell, if ah kin beat thet rap, anywun can!"
If it was my child and he posted offensive stuff like that he’d better pray for a jail sentence.
Where’s the link?
Tasteless speech is still free speech.
the speech most protected is that which is unpopular.
So, if you were at say, your Mom’s funeral, and some d-bag decided it would be funny to stand around making crude insinuations about her chastity and virtue, that should be OK, because its ‘freedom of speech’? This guy went out of his way to find a facebook tribute page and troll it in order to deliberately cause upset.
Global Rule will be a bullet in the back of the head to anyone who at by word offend the pervs and muslims.
Then Muslims kill the pervs.
I am uneasy about these twitter/facebook cases, perhaps a visit from the police and a warning might suffice. On the other hand, there so many of these wankers doing this now that I lose no sleep if they end up in the pokey.
You do understand how incredibly slippery, steep, and short the slope is when you start jailing people for "offensive" posts on the internet, don't you?
Shouldn’t be illegal but he should need to go into hiding. That’s what’s missing in society, we want the government to substitute for legitimate outrage.
“Tasteless speech is still free speech.”
I don’t see this as a free speech issue. Westborough hides behind that for their profane actions.
Free speech means the govt cannot constrain your speech. He made the statements in public about a little girl.
Second, this occurred in England where they don’t have free speech.
I generally subscribe to JS Mill’s approach to freedom of speech. There is a time and a place. It is the difference between printing leaflets saying corn dealers murder the poor, and actually standing in front of a corn dealer’s home in front of a mob and repeating the same thing.
This guy went to a tribute page for the little girl and deliberately whipped them up. If he wanted to make these jokes on his own website, or blog or youtube or whatever, then fair enough, he has a right to make a complete ass of himself, but its a different matter all together to go and impose yourself right on the people who will be most upset for no better reason than your own sick gratification.
If someone really is vile about my mother at her funeral, and it can be deemed disturbing the peace, inciting a riot, I’d get them arrested.
Let’s say they come up to me nice and calm and say it to my face. Someone should throw them out, knock them out, and maybe you get arrested for it. But we want to live in a violence free world and the government meets out all the violence. I’d prefer good old fashioned outrage.
Uhhhh....step back and recall the “congress shall make no law” part of A1.
I think you’ll find that the founding father’s still accepted the need for certain restrictions on freedom of speech (i.e. libel and slander laws) so that people cannot simply say what they want with malicious intent.
This guy didn’t come up to anyone at a funeral.
Are we free then to say anything? Absolutely and without reservation?
One might indulge in any speech they wish but that does not mean it will be without consequence.
No, it would not be OK, but it would not be a cause to put someone in jail. People have way too hard a time separating private action from government action. If someone made a crude comment about your mother at her funeral, punch the person or ask them to leave. But the person should not be arrested and jailed.
What you say makes sense however i bet we could agree as to what constituted not free speech but rather a vile attack.
That is not to say that agreed upon meaning would not be warped at some future date by a judge but that’s another story altogether.
This story i do not see as free speech.
Punch them and likely have to go through the legal system? They person making the crude unwanted statements should be facing prosecution not I.
Agreed. Free speech is not the right to slander others.
If the feds choose which ideas and thoughts may be debated in the public then they choose which ideas may not be debated or spoke of.
They would love for us to believe free speech is something it is not. PC/diversity has already stifled much free speech.
Mohommed may finish it off
Only in America...
Free speech means you cannot be punished by the government for speech, which is what happens in places other than America.
Obama would use this law to arrest every Freeper.
I don’t disagree the man is an ass, and need a punch in the face.
I do disagree he needs to be arrested.
As another poster stated, if you punched him in the face then you would be the one arrested.
He’s a vile human being.
Actually, no we couldn't - and it doesn't matter if we could, the government certainly couldn't.
You can sue for damages for slander or libel, but you can’t put anyone in jail over it.
Isn't that how West barrow Baptist get the funding they need to be a PITA. Law suits on people who they push over the edge.
If you don't what people to insult you on Facebook, twitter, whatever socialist media, don't put your life on the internet.
What this guy did was tacky and obnoxious, but he got the attention that he wanted.
You don’t think vile speech is recognizable by common sense?
The government should not swoop down and punish people who "say the wrong thing".
At the same time, I would like a lot more leeway to express my outrage, and beat the snot out of people who say things they shouldn't. The First Amendment limits what Congress can do in the face of vile speech. I, personally, would like a free hand to deal with it.
I want more violence in society. I think it would be good for us to have citizens take out the trash a little more often.
Government with common sense, right. You might want to go see a doc about that one.
“As another poster stated, if you punched him in the face then you would be the one arrested.”
Perhaps. Or it could be provocation.
“Hes a vile human being.”
I don’t disagree. I do disagree vile speech should be criminalized, simply because it is vile.
Obviously it isn't.
Do you want this administration defining and punishing "vile speech" for example?
First it was libel, now the “fighting words” defense?
Inoffensive speech doesn’t need protection.
“If you don’t what people to insult you on Facebook, twitter, whatever socialist media, don’t put your life on the internet. “
If you don’t want to be robbed don’t go outside.
“You dont think vile speech is recognizable by common sense?”
Obama-appointed judges and US attorneys would determine FR was a “Vile” site and close it down.
Don’t kid yourself.
“Obama-appointed judges and US attorneys would determine FR was a Vile site and close it down.”
They’ll do that anyway if we allow it. This isn’t a black and white issue, there are a thousand shades of gray.
There is no need for us to accept vile behavior just because we are afraid of the government. Its an example of how the enemies of freedom are using our own system to destroy us.
Was responding to another poster’s scenario.
Although I think we should tighten up this free speech biz in the US, slander has a definite legal meaning and criterion in the US. In the UK, a whole different ballgame.
“So, if you were at say, your Moms funeral, and some d-bag decided it would be funny to stand around making crude insinuations about her chastity and virtue, that should be OK, because its freedom of speech? This guy went out of his way to find a facebook tribute page and troll it in order to deliberately cause upset”
Anybody who beats the living hell out of such a person should be fined 10 cents for the first offense and 15 cents for each subsequent offense. Should he inadvertently go too far with the beating, increase the fine to 25 cents.