Facebook UK riot pair jailed


Two teenagers who used a social networking website to try to start a riot in a Scottish city during this summer’s disorder in England were locked up today.

Shawn Divin (16) and Jordan McGinley (18) used a Facebook page named “Riot in the toon” to call for unrest in Dundee.

More than 2,000 people viewed the event posting online, in which they were invited to “kill some f***ing daftys”, attack police officers and loot shops on August 17th.

The pair, who later insisted it was meant to be a joke, both admitted charges of breach of the peace at an earlier hearing.

Passing sentence at Dundee Sheriff Court, Sheriff Elizabeth Munro told them: “It’s clear that the circumstances of this particular offence are extremely serious.”

She sentenced both teenagers to three years’ detention for the Facebook offence.

Divin also had an extra 15 months added to his sentence for a breach of probation and the fact that he committed the offence while on bail.

His overall sentence received today therefore totalled four years and three months.

The court heard how Tayside Police were alerted to the site’s existence on August 10th by a journalist at a radio station in Glasgow.

Divin and McGinley did not create the page but had agreed to be administrators of it.

It invited people to congregate “doon the toon” in Dundee city centre between 7pm and 10pm on Wednesday August 17th.

Divin posted a message on the site: “Only join if yir actually gonna come. If any has guns bring them down to this. Kill some f***ing daftys.”

In August looting and disorder spread to many towns and cities in England, including London, Manchester and Nottingham.

The court heard that given the civil unrest around the country, Tayside Police had set up an inquiry team to look at the possibility of rioting in Dundee.

When they intervened in this case, 2,048 Facebook members had viewed the event posting.

Of that number, 221 people said they would attend the event and a further 68 indicated they might attend.

Other messages posted on Divin’s own Facebook page said: “Show the English how it’s really done,” and “If it does happen, you up fir takin a police guy oot the gem?” (sic).

Police sought warrants to search the two teenagers’ homes, which they did in the early hours of August 11th.

Both were detained for incitement to mob and riot and their laptops were seized.

Divin told officers: “Somebody put my name as administrator. I said get it off.”

When he was interviewed at the force’s headquarters, he admitted posting messages about rioting on the event page and his own Facebook page.

He said he was not bothered about his name being on the page for a few days, “until the police were mentioned”.

He also told police it was a “joke that got a bit serious”, that he did not believe the riot would happen and that he had “no intention” of getting involved in any trouble.

Divin admitted he became concerned after finding out that more than 200 people said they were planning to attend the event, but thought it was too late to do anything about it by that stage.

McGinley also told police it was “only meant to be a joke”.