Friday, 1 October 2010

The Strange Case of Gwion Jones Part II

On the 2nd September 2010, I wrote about the strange case of Gwion Jones from Porthmadog who walked out of his job and subsequently made an "anti English" comment on his Facebook wall about his then ex-employer. This is how the Daily Post reported it on the 26th August:
A CHEF who posted anti-English comments about his ex-boss on Facebook was yesterday handed a £380 court bill.

Gwion Jones wrote the comments on his own page after walking out of his Porthmadog hotel job.

But one of his 240-plus Facebook friends printed out the rants and showed Queens Hotel owner Lisa Edmunds.

She took it to North Wales Police and yesterday Jones faced Pwllheli magistrates.

The 32-year-old of Pensyflog, Porthmadog, pleaded guilty to sending a message that was offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing by means of a public communications network.

I subsequently argued that North Wales Police and the Crown Prosecution Service were operating double standards in prosecuting one off individuals who had no previous convictions whilst ignoring persistent racists who made numerous offensive comments on Facebook Groups about the mosque in Wrecsam.

This story in the Daily Post from the 3rd March 2010, is a case in point:
POLICE are investigating a sick anti-Muslim website set up on Facebook to stir up tensions over fake claims a ‘super-mosque’ was being built in Wrexham.

And the website, which bears the Welsh Defence League logo, is also filled with hateful messages against Muslims, which North Wales Police are now investigating.

I followed up on this story with a Freedom of Information request of North Wales Police; the question I posed was:
"On the 3rd March 2010, the Daily Post reported that the Police were investigating a 'sick anti Muslim website set up on Facebook to stir up tensions over fake claims a super mosque was being built in Wrexham. As a result of this investigation how many people were arrested and what for? How many were prosecuted or cautioned?

This is North Wales Police's response:
There were no arrests, prosecutions or cautions in relation to the above. Following 'communication' with Facebook, the website has been closed down.

I wonder if Gwion had the opportunity to remove his comments...I very much doubt it!

So here we have it one rule for some and another rule for those who deserve prosecuting for serious crimes like threats to cause damage; yes there was a lady who was inciting people to bomb Mosques.

If I was Gwion I would be asking the higher court to set aside his conviction on the grounds that it was unfair, disproportionate and not in the public interest; but there again higher courts don't come cheap!

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