Bristol

Teenager sentenced over Facebook posts 'glorifying a murderer'

A teenager who took photos in court, made abusive comments about a judge and "glorified" a killer on social media, has been given a 15-month sentence.

Damien Parker-Stokes, 19, was found in contempt of court in May after illegally taking photos of his friend Ryan Sheppard at Bristol Crown Court in 2014 and uploading them onto Facebook.

Sheppard was jailed for life for beating Mark Roberts to death in 2013.

The term of detention was handed down by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas.

'Severe sentences'

Sitting at the High Court in London with Mr Justice Ouseley, he said young people who used Facebook to "mock the administration of justice" and "cause considerable concern" to a victim's family "must be deterred by the most severe sentences".

He said Parker-Stokes had committed "an extremely grave" contempt of court, adding that he had not made any apology and his "wilful" failure to attend his sentencing had shown "unbelievable" contempt for the court.

"This court will punish with very severe sentences anyone who photographs in court and who aggravates that offence by posting them on the internet," he said.

Parker-Stokes took a series of five photographs and a video of Sheppard in the dock.

He then posted one image of Sheppard on Sheppard's Facebook page with a comment that included the words: "Respect g at least u had the balls to admit it...".

The same image was uploaded by 18-year-old Kyle Cox, on his own Facebook page with the words: "Ride or die certified south west g".

Cox, who admitted contempt, was bound over by judges to keep the peace and not commit any further offences for six months.

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