Today I attended Hollie Bentley’s hearing at Wakefield Magistrate’s court.
I met Hollie and her family in the waiting room outside court number 1, where I chatted briefly to her mother. Clearly shaken and upset by the events of the last 2 weeks, the family were waiting for police to arrive to talk to them about violent threats which had been made against the family just the previous night at their home. Police were in attendance outside the court building and at Hollie’s home throughout the hearing, in order to protect her and her family from violent attack.
At commencement of the hearing, the court was told that Hollie’s home address was not to be published in light of the threats made against her and her family on the internet and in person at their home.
The hearing itself took less than half an hour. Hollie is charged with encouraging violent disorder against The Serious Crime Act 2007 after she created a Facebook event entitled “Wakey Riots”. The event was posted on the 9th of August, and was scheduled to take place on the 13-14th of August. Hollie also wrote in the event “Who’s up for it LMFAO.” It was not made clear whether this was written in the event description, or as a post to the event wall.
Hollie entered no initial plea.
The magistrate highlighted the lengthy prison sentences handed to previous people found guilty of this offence, and stated that it was beyond the powers of the magistrates court to sentence in this matter, referring it on to the Crown Court. She emphasised the serious of the charge, stating that “people died in the riots.”
Hollie Bentley was bailed to re-appear at Wakefield Crown Court on the 21st September.
These are the facts thus far. I’ll post some comment on it later.