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UK riots: 1,000 charged for violence

UK PM David Cameron has defended courts for handing out tough sentences for those involved in the riots across England.



London: Two young men who tried to incite
rioters using Facebook have been sent to four years in jail,
the longest sentencing so far by the courts following the four
days of unrest, even as more than 1,000 people have been
charged for the recent violence and looting in London.

Acting commissioner for the Metropolitan Police force Tim
Godwin hailed a "significant milestone" as he said a total of
1,005 suspects had been charged after 1,733 arrests.

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 in their home towns.

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended courts for
handing out tough sentences for those involved in the riots
across England. Some MPs and campaigners say some sentences
dealt to by the courts in the riot cases are too harsh.

"It`s up to the courts to make decisions about
sentencing, but they`ve decided to send a tough message and
it`s very good that the courts feel able to do that," Cameron
said.

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, the
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

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

Acting commissioner Godwin praised the work of officers
gathering evidence to bring the charges. The public response
to appeals over the riots last week had been fantastic.

The force has said it was aiming for 3,000 convictions
over the disorder.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the latest police figures
were "testament not only to their (Met`s) dedication, but also
to the outstanding support they have had from law-abiding
Londoners who will not tolerate this behaviour in their
communities."

Meanwhile, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited
Tottenham today to meet families who suffered as a result of
rioting last week.

"Welcome to Tottenham," said a resident as the heir to
the British throne arrived at the local leisure centre.
Violence broke out in the multi-ethnic neighbourhood in
north London following the police shooting of a local man,
Mark Duggan, two days earlier.

Chelsea Ives is among those who has appeared in court
charged in connection with the riots.

Miss Ives, 18, denies two counts of burglary, violent
disorder and attacking a police car in Enfield, north London,
on August 7. She was remanded in custody until a hearing at
Highbury Magistrates` Court on 7 September.

A spokesman for the London mayor said the teenager was
not a 2012 Olympics ambassador, as has been reported.
It is understood she was appointed a youth ambassador by
Waltham Forest council in the 2008/09 academic year.

At the weekend Godwin said the force was targeting 3,000
convictions over the riots that spread across the capital.
Under Operation Withern 500 officers have gathered 20,000
hours of CCTV footage.

Forensic officers have made more than 300 submissions to
labs from more than 1,100 crime scenes, the Met said.

PTI

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