Facebook posting lands man in jail

CHORLEY, England, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A British magistrate has sentenced a Lancashire man to 12 weeks in jail for posting offensive comments about a missing 5-year-old on his Facebook page.

Matthew Woods, 20, was arrested for his own safety after some 50 people gathered outside his home to protest comments he made about April Jones, The Guardian reported Tuesday.


Woods, of Chorley, pleaded guilty to sending by means of electronic communication a message that was grossly offensive.

His comments were labeled so "abhorrent" that the chairman of the bench, Bill Hudson, said he deserved the longest sentence the court could hand down.

April Jones went missing from her home in Wales last week, the BBC reported.

A man identified as Mark Bridger, 46, has been charged with homicide, child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice in the case.

Among the comments Woods posted was, "Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid?," a reference to the victim's freckled skin and red hair that suggested she was unappealing.

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