West Suffolk: Teen in court after Facebook call to riot

A TEENAGER from west Suffolk who posted a message on Facebook calling for a riot has admitted he was an “idiot’’.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message by public communication network at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Magistrates imposed a ban on identifying the youth after fears were voiced he could face retribution from members of the public for his comments.

The teen, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, posted the controversial text on the social networking site on Tuesday morning, in the wake of a night of brutal rioting in London.

Sarah-Jane Atkins, prosecuting, told the court the teenager was swiftly condemned for his words and accused of not being very intelligent to have made such comments.

In police interview, the boy said he had only made the comments to “have a laugh’’ and didn’t intend anyone to take the actions he had suggested.

David Stewart, in mitigation, said the boy had since realised he had been “inordinately foolish’’ and recognised what an idiot he had been.

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“He has a very poor opinion of himself,” Mr Stewart said. “A lesson has been learnt.”

Mr Stewart said the boy, who appeared in the dock with his mother, came from a stable family home and had co-operated fully with police.

Magistrates adjourned proceedings for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on the teen ahead of his sentencing at Bury Youth Court on Wednesday, August 17.