April Jones' Murder: Mathew Woods Jailed for 12 Weeks for Making Offensive Sexual Facebook Comments
By Ewan Palmer | October 9, 2012 12:59 AM EST
Mathew Woods, 20, admitted to writing a series of derogatory and offensive posts about April and Madeleine McCann, the British child who has been missing since 2007.
Woods, from Eaves Lane, Chorley, was arrested under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 after posting the comments, which included "grossly offensive" remarks of a sexual nature.
The court heard how members of the public were so upset about his comments they reported Woods to the police.
A group of around 50 people gathered at his home following the posts on the social network site and he was arrested at a separate address for his own safety.
Woods said he got the idea for the posts from Sickipedia - a bad taste website which focuses on offensive jokes.
Martina Jay, prosecuting, said: "When interviewed by police he fully admitted he posted messages about the two missing children.
"He started this idea when he was at a friend's house when drinking, saw a joke on Sickipedia and changed it slightly.
"He said he did it in a bid to make people think his account had been hacked. He said it got out of hand and he was drunk while doing it."
Woods admitted his account had not been hacked and admitted he was responsible for all the posts which occurred between 3 and 4 October.
His defendant, David Edwards, told the court his client did seem genuinely remorseful for his actions, saying. "He realises this will have a profound effect on him.
"With the publicity that has followed he will be known as the man who made these comments on Facebook."
Last month, a man from Liverpool was arrested under the same law, after setting up a Facebook page which praised the alleged killer of two police officers in Greater Manchester.
The UK director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said there should be new rules which look at abuse via social media following the arrest of a footballer who sent homophobic tweets regarding Olympic divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield.
Starmer said the new guidelines on online abuse would be needed as "the recent increase in the use of social media has been profound".
He added: "The time has come for an informed debate about the boundaries of free speech in an age of social media".
Meanwhile Mark Bridger has appeared in court charged with the murder of April Jones.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Pregnant Kate Middleton Wants To Have A Big Family With ‘Five Children’ At Anmer Hall Residence- Reports
- ISIS European Teen Jihadists Allegedly Pregnant; New Zealand Silent On Kiwi Jihadist's Request To Return Home
- New Zealand Scientists Dissect Well-Preserved Female Colossal Squid [VIDEO]
- ISIS Murder Videos 'Turning On' Foreign Jihadists To Fight US and Britain [VIDEO]
- 24-year-old Playboy Model Marries 81-year-old Construction Tycoon Richard Lugner
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- iPhone 6 Plus vs Xiaomi Mi4 – The iPhone Killer Certainly Can Battle Well With The New Apple Phablet
- Ukraine Crisis: Poland Denies Supplying Weapons To Kiev
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Countdown Begins Oct 8: 8 Killer Specs and Features to Expect
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MF 370: Indonesian Police Chief Claims He Knows What Happened To Missing Jet