Offensive comments posted on Facebook about missing five-year-old April Jones have resulted in a 12-week jail sentence for a Lancashire man.
20 year old Matthew Woods, unemployed, from Chorley, made derogatory posts about April and missing Madeline McCann. Appearing at Chorley Magistrates' Court, he admitted sending a grossly offensive public electronic communication. He had been arrested for his own safety after members of the public reported his comments to the Police, and a number went to his home.
Prosecution Counsel Martina Jay said: "When interviewed by police he fully admitted he posted messages about the two missing children. He said he did it in a bid to make people think his account had been hacked. He said it got out of hand." Woods had apparently been drinking at a friend's house when he saw a joke online and changed it slightly before posting it on Facebook. He admitted the Police that his account had not in fact been hacked and that he was responsible for all the posts made on 3 and 4 October.
Chairman of the bench 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.