25/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 17:07

Nathan Sinden cleared over Facebook riot posts

Category: England

Published: 17th Nov 2011 12:14:52

A man accused of posting messages on Facebook to incite looting at the height of this summer's riots has been cleared.

Nathan Sinden, 27, of St Leonards, East Sussex, had denied intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of burglary, at Hove Crown Court.

It is claimed Mr Sinden wrote: "Let's start a riot in Hastings. Who's on it?"

Jurors heard Mr Sinden told police in interview that he was "joking" and had not intended to incite trouble.

His friend Clinton Smith told the court "I took it as a joke straight away" but prosecutors claimed Mr Sinden was not joking.

Jurors were told shops closed early in Hastings and large numbers of police were deployed on 9 August, because of Mr Sinden's postings and those of others on Facebook.

Prosecutor Gabby Henty told the court the issue was whether he was making a joke or whether he intended to encourage crime.

Jurors were told Mr Sinden also wrote: "Looting it is then today. Who's up for shopping?" and then wrote "Town on lockdown. LOL".

Mr Smith, who works as a part-time graphic designer and supermarket worker, said: "I thought he was being ironic.

"When I added my comment, 'Yeah, I'm going straight down to Poundland', I was also being ironic. I thought people would find it funny.

"I don't believe anyone would act on it. It was literally pure joking - banter among friends.

"Maybe my humour is not to everyone's taste but it was intended as a joke."

During a private chat on the social network site Mr Sinden confirmed to a friend he meant his comments as a joke.

The court also heard he told officers after he was arrested: "You don't expect to believe everything you read on Facebook."

Judge David Rennie urged jurors, who heard Mr Sinden had previous convictions for theft, criminal damage and violence and disorder, to cast aside any personal feelings about the riots and approach their deliberations in a "cold and clinical" way.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. Nathan Sinden cleared over Facebook riot posts [Online] (Updated 17th Nov 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/203091/Nathan-Sinden-cleared-over-Facebook-riot-posts [Accessed 25th Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Kids' karate instructor faces jail over child abuse images

    A kids' karate instructor is facing jail after being caught with nearly 3,000 images of child abuse.
  • Live - Durham v Northants

    Report to follow at end of match.
  • Heat-wave: Where you go to escape the city heat

    Temperatures reached 28C in many parts of England this week - and those in the cities felt it most.
  • Anglesey's Wylfa Newydd reactor choice steps ahead

    Developers of a proposed £8bn nuclear power station on Anglesey have welcomed the initial go-ahead for their chosen reactor technology.
  • Turkey launches high-speed Istanbul-Ankara rail link

    Turkey has inaugurated a high-speed rail link between Istanbul and Ankara, slashing by half the seven-hour journey time between the two cities.