Constance Halliwell, instructed by Mary Monson Solicitors, acted on behalf of a defendant appearing at Manchester City Magistrates Court. The defendant had pleaded guilty to one offence of malicious communications after posting comments on social media threatening to cause an explosion at King Charles’ Coronation.
The Deputy Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) attended from London to preside over the sentence hearing.
No sentencing guidelines exist for the offence but following conviction, the defendant could be sentenced up to the Magistrates maximum sentencing powers or committed to the Crown Court for sentence.
The attendance of the Chief Magistrate for the sentence hearing demonstrates the severity with which the courts treat any offences that cover threats of this nature.
Whilst the comments posted on social media were left on a live video stream and not sent directly to a specific individual, the Judge considered that with billions of people across the world watching the Coronation and thousands of people in attendance at the event in London, to send such a threat could have profound consequences. Indeed, the anti-terrorism police became involved but took the view that no terrorism offence had been committed as the defendant had no intention to act upon the threat.
Despite considering that the offence passed the custody threshold, taking into consideration the defendant’s early guilty plea and previous good character, the judge passed sentence of a 12 month community order with 120 hours unpaid work.
Mary Monson Solicitors details can be found here. To instruct Constance Halliwell please contact Abigail Lockett here.