Essex

Riots: Ex-soldier bailed over BlackBerry messages

A former soldier from Essex has denied committing a crime by posting "Anyone want to start a riot?" on Blackberry Messenger during the August riots.

Tommy Tucker, 20, of Mareth Road, Colchester, had been remanded in custody since September.

At Chelmsford Crown Court he denied encouraging an indictable offence between 7 and 10 August.

He was released on conditional bail and must not access social networking sites before his trial next year.

The charge came after he allegedly wrote: "Anyone want to start a riot in Colchester? 100pc serious."

In a later message he is accused of writing: "Apple shop in town is on fire - Colchester has started."

The message was sent to 157 people, made up mostly of school friends and fellow servicemen and women.

No trouble resulted from the message, the court heard.

A later message allegedly read: "Apple shop in town is on fire - Colchester has started."

A three-day trial is expected to take place in the week beginning 9 January.

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