Tag Archives: Welsh Trolling

Georgina Scannell

Scannell, Georgina. Georgina Scannell was the Chairwoman of the bench at Swansea Magistrates Court who sentenced Robert Riley for the posting of the identity of the 15-year-old charged with murder for the killing of Ann Maguire. In sentencing Riley to 8 weeks in prison, Scannell said to him; “The offensive messages outraged the public.
“You had complete disregard for the tragic death of Ann Maguire.

Besides this, countless other vile messages were made by you.

One commentator said about Georgina Scannell’s decision to jail Rob Riley that “6 weeks in jail for that puts the UK in the same category as China, Iraq, Turkey, North Korea,” as well as adding that Riley’s comment saying “First God smites a Malaysian plane, then he sinks a Korean ferry, now thousands die in Afghan mud slide. Allah’s not keen on Muslims is he?” was jumped upon too severely. “Not sure about his understanding of different nation’s religions, but since when was that a crime?

Anthony Gristock

Gristock, Anthony. Anthony Gristock was convicted at Cardiff Crown Court for setting up webpages during the August 2011 UK riots trying to incite such riots in Cardiff and Swansea.

Gristock, from Roath in Cardiff, was jailed for 3 years and 8 months. Gristock was arrested following police snooping on social media websites during the riots.

William Jeremiah

William Jeremiah of Panty View, Trelewis, who was 43 at the time, was sentenced to jail by Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court for sending 79 text messages to Sioned Williams over five days resulting in the breaching of a restraining order.

Williams, after feeling sorry for him took him back into her home, following the ending of their relationship a year earlier after “problems with him being violent and controlling”, the court heard.

Jeremiah had 75 convictions at the time, including for harassment and assault. Even so, his attorney said that Williams had not feared for her safety after receiving the text messages but had simply had enough of the situation.

Magistrates jailed Jeremiah for 14 weeks. He was also prohibited from contacting Ms Williams directly or indirectly and from going to her home.

Lisa Stapley

Stapley, Lisa. Lisa Stapley, from Wrexham, who was 39 at the time, was jailed for 10 months at Mold Crown Court following sending text messages to lesbians who were being persecuted by police officers.

Stapley, who was a police community support officer herself, admitted four charges of misconduct in public office, gave out confidential information, including via text message, to the closely-knit lesbian community in her home town of Wrexham, of which she was part, a court was told.

Lisa Stapley uses text messaging to notify fellow lesbians that the police were hunting them down

Stapley was a clear example of a MHBFY Jenny, who feel obliged to put the social welfare of community members  before other factors that would support the actions of abusive members of online communities, such as Snerts.

A court heard one example of Lisa Stapley’s attempts to safeguard fellow lesbians was when she sent text message to a friend telling her to “get out of town” because police were trying to hunt her down.

Judge Philip Hughes said that Stapley’s attempts to protect the interests of other minority sexual orientation persons was “misguided and naive” and was not an appropriate course of action to prevent  “advancing criminal purposes.” The judge however made clear that her motivations where not for “financial gain”, nor for “prejudicing any police operation. “

Trolling and the law following Fabrice Muamba racism abuse conviction

A man from Swansea was arrested on Saturday 18 March 2012 after posting racially offensive Twitter comments about footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed after suffering   arrest during an FA Cup tie. The comments, made by 21 year old biology student Liam Stacey appeared on the Twitter account (@liamstacey9), which was then taken down, but a censored version appears below.

I have never seen such obscene language on the Internet in the whole of my 18 years on the Web. This was not an act of trolling as it was done out of pure anger and not for a laugh. This was what we at the Trolling Academy call ‘Enhanced E-Venger Flaming’ and is done by people who are so caught up in the moment they will hit the enter key immediately in order to get vengeance against someone who wronged them.

Often the perpetrators of Internet abuse have been abused themselves and need help. Whilst it certainly does not excuse their actions they have often ether being born into poverty, denied opportunities in life, or socially excluded in other ways. In the case of Liam Stacey, as shown in the report below, his racist comments only came after a revenge attack on those who abused him for his insenstive comment mocking Fabrice Muamba’s medical state.

The question we should be asking is not whether racism is wrong and should be dealt with, it is and it should. What we should be asking is; was this harsh treatment of Liam Stacey fair, when such comments are made in other public spaces every day without prosecution?

Liam Stacey was sentenced to prison for posting the racist remarks on Twitter as referred to above within days of him making them and his appeal was then quashed. Yet it is nearly a year since a police officer was first investigated for severe verbal and physical racist attacks on a black man during last year’s riots. It is only now that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has made its decision and only now that the Crown Prosecution Service is going to look seriously at the case.

In 2008 another Welsh person, Gavin Brent, became one of the first people to be prosecuted for flame trolling on the Internet under the Telecommunications Act 1984. His crime? Putting an abusive message about a police officer online. The other day an Essex police officer simply had to apologise for posting abusive messages about Simon Weston – no charges were brought against him!
It seems to me that it is clear there are rules for them and rules for us. Why are the police some how above the law, yet young people like Gavin Brent and Liam Stacy have to feel the full force of it? If people are going to fail jail-terms for racism then it should be all people and not just the young who may not have the maturity to see the consequences of their action, as those in positions of authority like the police should be expected to.

Liam Stacey

Liam Stacey, who was 21 at the time of his flame trolling offence, was convicted for a racially-aggravated public order offence. It followed a tirade of racist abuse on Twitter after he was rebuked by others after he mocked the cardiac arrest of Bolton player, Fabrice Muamba.

Stacey was sentenced to 56 days in jail by district judge John Charles, who summed up saying, “It was racist abuse via a social networking site instigated as a result of a vile and abhorrent comment about a young footballer who was fighting for his life.

Liam Stacey showed remorse for his moment of drunkness but was convicted by the judge who thought setting an example to others was more important than his individual circumstances

Speaking about the situation, microblogger Joan Smith (@polblonde) said, “a young man’s life has been wrecked and the trolls mocking him on Twitter are basking in self-congratulation.” Smith followed this noting, “Sentimentality and cruelty are frequent companions, and feeling too often takes precedence over rationality in the virtual world.

John Charles also said to Stacey, “Your comments aggravated this situation. I have no choice but to impose a custodial sentence to reflect the public outrage at what you have done.” This resulted in another microblogger, Dan Jone saying, “Why did one district judge treat Stacey harshly while another gave Cryer a reasonable sentence? The simple answer is that justice has been dragged out of all reason and proportion by the melodramatic public reaction to poor old Muamba’s on-field coronary.

Andrew Morgan of Swansea University warned that not allowing views on race even if they cause “outrage” is an affront to freedom of expression. He said: “Once we start being selective about free speech there is no freedom of speech.”

Darren Burton

Darren Burton from Cardiff, who uses the pseudonym, ”Nimrod Severn’, is a notorious ‘R.I.P Troller’ from Cardiff in South Wales. Like many R.I.P Trollers he justifies his actions on flame trolling memorial website. He said in an interview, “I think grief should be a private thing – I don’t understand why people who have lost someone need to tell everyone about it,
And I don’t get why people who never knew the person who died feel they want a slice of the action by jumping on a bandwagon. They’re just ‘grief tourists’. It’s not really me saying those things anyway, it’s another person I become when I go online as Nimrod Severn or whatever name I assume.

Burton, a railway worker, has been described as a “large, smoking men whom you’d see in a British pub“. Predominantly attacking memorial websites, singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse and murdered student Anuj Bidve have been some of his targets. He told Bidv to “rot in p***” and when challenged he said about bereaved families, “F*** ‘um“.

Chuma Igbokwe

Chuma Igbokwe, who was 45 at the time and once the official consul to Britain of the Republic of Niger in West Africa, sexually harassed a colleague by making “disgusting” comments and asking her to perform a sex act on him. Vanessa Turley, who was then 40, was sexually harassed by Chuma Igbokwe both in person and online.

Turley’s husband received an email claiming that his wife was “a porn star, a prostitute and had been having affairs with men at work”. Another email was a link to an internet porn site and a third one stated, “Now we know the truth about our star performers.”

Chuma Igbokwe was found to have committed sexual harassment typical of Chatroom Bobs

The calls were traced by a computer expert friend of Turley’s, who discovered one was from Niger and another from a Sheraton hotel in Nigeria. Even though she later went to the police, after an investigation no charges were pressed. Turley was demoted to the position of receptionist and after quitting her job in June last year when she went to the police to report her former boss. No complaint was made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Jason John Jenkins

Jason John Jenkins, of Tirwaun, who was 34 at the time, pleaded guilty to sending several text messages which were of an offensive and racial nature.

Jenkins was found to have harassed Murat Bora in 2011, between September 28 and October 1. He was prosecuted for racially aggravated under the terms of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

The court heard how Jenkins was going to give Bora “a kicking”, for what the court heard was because there was “a little but of history” between the pair.

District Judge Viv Manning-Davies said Mr Bora was disgusted by what he heard and “probably was frightened as well” that Jenkins was going to carry out his threats.

The incident came at a particularly traumatic time for Jenkins, after he and his partner had tragically lost a child amid Jenkins suffering from chronic depression.

The evidence of his probation office, made it clear that Jenkins was being E-Venger, following a breach of his human rights to privacy by Bora. The probation officer, Tim Jenkins, said, “He tells me that several nights before the text messages began that Mr Bora came to his address at 2am to 2.30am and looked through the kitchen window where he and his partner were in an embrace. “At the time he was unaware of this and was only aware Mr Bora had been spying on him two to three days later.”

Hearing that Jenkins had 16 previous convictions for 40 offences, including fraud, thefts and drugs, the judge jailed Jenkins for two months because “the behaviour was simply unacceptable”, even though Jenkins regretted his actions, and after the court was told by his probation officer that “There seems no doubt that the revulsion is real,” said Mr Jenkins.

Jamie Counsel

Jamie Counsel, who was 24 at the time, of The Walk, Cardiff, was convicted by Cardiff Crown Court for “trying to bring the riots to Cardiff” by setting up a Facebook page at the hight of the UK riots in August 2011.

Counsel pleaded guilty to inciting violent disorder when he appeared at the magistrates court, but claimed it was just for a joke and that he did not realise what the consequences were. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Jamie Counsel was convicted for trying to incite violence – Courtesy Wales News Service

Speaking on Twitter during the riots, Labour MP John McDonnell said, “just shows what can be done when people get angry. We must build on this”. Mr McDonnell was criticised for his remarks. Labour’s Kerry McCarthy who in 2009 was announced as Labour’s ‘Twitter Tsar’ in order to improve use of the micro blogging site, said, “People like to know that MPs are human and have interests outside politics.

Even so, Counsel was told by the judge that a message had to go out to anyone ever tempted to do the same that only severe sentences would follow. Counsel’s barrister, Ruth Smith, told the court that Counsel had that past transgressions such as being pulled over by the police and being found with a lock-knife had encouraged him change his life for better, and the event was an error of judgement.

In sentencing Counsel to four-years imprisonment, the judge Nicholas Cooke accepted that Counsel was not aware of the extent of the riots and that people had died said a substantial sentence was required. Prosecutor David Webster said, “His site was widely accessed and often by members of the public who were concerned about what they read there”, “Jamie Counsel set up his group on August 9. One of his pages was called ‘Rioting Looting Robbery Burglary’ where someone suggested they ‘hit Howells (store) first’.