Criminal Justice

2 brothers got no time in drug case until they mocked judge in crude Facebook posts after sentencing

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Two brothers initially got no jail time in a British drug case, because the judge suspended their two-year sentences when their lawyers said they were remorseful about the crime.

But after they mocked the trial judge in Facebook posts within two hours of exiting a Feb. 3 hearing at Burnley Crown Court, Daniel Sledden, 27, and Samuel Sledden, 22, were resentenced to two years behind bars, according to the BBC News and the Daily Star.

Both brothers’ posts contained what Judge Beverley Lunt described as “offensive and sexual content directed at me as a judge, and also as a woman judge.” She hence did not read them in court.

However, a Sky News story provides much of the language of the posts, which gloat about the original sentences and make crude comments apparently directed at the court.

At least one of the brothers apologized on Facebook about his original post and both wrote letters of apology, but it was too late. On Friday, Lunt lowered the boom.

“The question I have to ask myself is this, if I had known their real feelings at being in court would I have accepted their remorse and contrition, and suspended the sentence,” she said.

“And the answer is of course not. Each of the posts indicate they have not changed at all. They have not taken on board anything or learned any responsibility.”

Barrister Daniel Prowse represents Samuel Sledden. He argued that the Facebook comments were “ill-conceived, extremely disrespectful and displayed rude ingratitude” but didn’t clearly demonstrate that the two lacked remorse about the marijuana offense they committed, reports a Press Association story published in the Slough & South Bucks Observer.

Prowse also said the two had not intended the posts to be seen outside their immediate circle of family and friends and have already suffered due to widespread news reports about their self-inflicted situation. Now they are “national, if not international, figures of ridicule,” Prowse told the judge and “frankly, will never live this down.”

Hat tip: Breaking News.

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