A British teen has been sentenced to 12 weeks in jail for posting offensive comments on his Facebook profile about April Jones, a 5-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered.
Matthew Woods,19, posted the following messages to his Facebook after drawing inspiration from Sickipedia, a site where people post offensive jokes and images, the Independent reported.
“Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid?”
“Could have just started the greatest Facebook argument ever. April Fools, Who Wants Maddie?”
“I woke up this morning in the back of a transit van with two beautiful little girls, I found April in a hopeless place.”
The messages upset the community so much, about 50 people descended on his house in Lancashire to protest, the Independent added.
Jones went missing on Oct. 1 after she got into a van near her home in Machynlleth, Wales. News of the missing child, who suffers from cerebral palsy, set off a country wide manhunt. Late last week, Mark Bridger, 46, was arrested in connection with Jones’ disappearance. He was charged Saturday with abduction, murder, and “unlawful disposal and concealment of her body with intent to pervert the course of justice,” the Daily Mail reported. Bridger remains in police custody and is due in court Wednesday.
Woods was arrested Saturday and plead guilty to sending “grossly offensive” messages electronically, the BBC reported.
During the sentencing Chorley Magistrate Bill Hudson explained why the punishment for the teen was so harsh.
“The words and references used to the current case in Wales and that of the missing girl in Portugal are nothing less than shocking, so much so that no right thinking person in society should have communicated to them such fear and distress,” Hudson said, according to the BBC. “The reason for the sentence is the seriousness of the offence, the public outrage that has been caused and we felt there was no other sentence this court could have passed which conveys to you the abhorrence that many in society feel this crime should receive.”
Photo via Dyfed-Powys police