Facebook ‘troll’ jailed after making death threats

A British 'troll' who threatened to kill 200 people in the US in Facebook posts has been jailed for more than two years.

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24 year-old Reece Elliott of South Shields made the threat in February this year on online memorial pages for two Tennessee girls killed in car accidents. 3,000 students at their school – Warren County High – were so traumatised that they missed school the following day.

The father of one had pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court in April, admitting one count of making a threat to kill and eight of sending grossly offensive messages. He had been held in custody since his arrest in February. He had targeted a tribute page to 17-year-old Caitlin Talley, who had died in a car accident in October. Using a false name, he wrote: "My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting him in a dumpster. Then I'm taking the motor and I'm going in fast. I'm gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself. So you want to tell the deputy, I'm on my way." The post added: "I'm killing 200 people minimum at school. I will be on CNN."

Gary Buckley, prosecuting, said: "The residents of Warren County and all the people who have access to the Facebook page were clearly concerned. I am told that the local authority immediately put all the local schools in the area on what was called lockdown. Because of the hysteria caused, around 3,000 children were kept off school on that specific day."

Judge James Goss QC, the Recorder of Newcastle, told Elliott that the offences were driven by "no more than self-indulgent nastiness". He took into account Elliott's early guilty plea and genuine remorse.

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