Harringay man first in London to be sentenced for inciting riots

15:26 08 May 2012

Terry Balson set up a Facebook page inciting others to riot

Terry Balson set up a Facebook page inciting others to riot

Archant

A “thrill-seeker” who used a Facebook page to encourage disorder during the riots has been locked up for two years in the first case of its kind in London.

Terry Balson, 20, set up an open page on the popular social networking site called “For the riot (f**k the feds)”, which could have inspired violence in Wood Green and Barnet.

He was named and shamed by social media users, who reported him to police.

Balson, who lived at the time in Effingham Road, Harringay, and later in Landsdowne Road, Tottenham, created the page from a computer at Wood Green Central Library in High Road on August 9 last year, when the capital was in the grip of widespread violence and looting.

Comments he posted on the site included “Barnet High Road is the spot apparently, who is on it?” and “Come to Wood Green at 6pm”.

Jobless Balson - the first person to be sentenced for inciting people to riot in London - was arrested after members of the public reported the site to police, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

His event page attracted 20 members, and the same night a police station in Colindale, Barnet, and a mobile police office in a Barnet housing estate were attacked, alongside stores at Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Balson admitted incitement to riot at an earlier hearing, and sentencing him to two years in a young offenders’ institution, Judge Simon Carr said on Tuesday: “Your involvement was very specific on what would have been the third day of the riots, when everyone would have been aware of the destruction and loss of life that was occurring.”

He added: “You did this, it would seem, because you see thrill-seeking as part of your reason for being.

“You take risks for the sake of taking risks and although I accept you are a man of good character, you have in the past, as part of your desire for excitement, walked on the edge of criminality.”

Judge Carr said two people who had set up a similar account but closed it down, and pleaded guilty, had been jailed for four years.

But he said he had “nothing but sympathy” for Balson, who had a difficult childhood after being diagnosed with ADHD, and four years would be “out of kilter with what is necessary and appropriate”.

Det Con Chris Ladmore, investigating officer from the Operation Withern north team, said: “In interview Balson admitted the offence and stated that rioting was OK if it wasn’t on your own doorstep.”

He said Balson, now of Halton Road, Islington, “caused widespread fear and panic to the residents of Barnet whom had already witnessed the events in Tottenham”.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
St Hilaire took photos of a sleeping homeless man on the Snapchat app

A drunk thug who threatened to ‘shank’ a homeless man because he refused to pose sucking a lollipop ‘for Snapchat’ is facing jail.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The suspect thrusts a knife through a window into the driver's face (Picture: Met Police)

CCTV of the shocking moment a bus driver was stabbed in the eye with a Stanley knife through a window in Penge has been released by police.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Ayesha Ali

A mum and her lover have this morning been found guilty of the manslaughter of her eight-year-old daughter – but cleared of murder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Solomon Bygraves admitted robbing 93-year-old Stanley Evans in Soho (Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

A callous thug who shoved a frail 93-year-old man to the ground so he could steal just £5 from him has admitted carrying out the ‘sickening’ robbery.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Teen victim Alan Cartwright

Detectives have arrested three people in connection with the murder of Alan Cartwright, 15, the teen who was stabbed to death while riding his bike along Caledonian Road, Islington.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
British Transport Police want to speak to this man after a teenager was hit over the head with a glass bottle

A man was having a friendly chat with a group of strangers on a train from London when, without warning, one of them smashed a glass bottle over his head.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

It appears we haven’t yet had the definitive story of the Apple co-founder.

Read more

Andrew Mitchell’s wallet is £80,000 lighter today, and his political reputation is in tatters.

Read more

His girlfriend has been charged with intending to pervert the course of justice.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

(Not guaranteed)

Mothers Day is fast approaching, so we’ve rounded up some unusual and beautiful gifts for you to dazzle the most important woman in your life come March 15th.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Andrew Mitchell’s wallet is £80,000 lighter today, and his political reputation is in tatters.

His girlfriend has been charged with intending to pervert the course of justice.

Thankfully no one on board suffered more than a few “bumps and bruises”.

Quirky London