Sunday 21 August 2011

FOI request to Suffolk CPS about Bury St Edmunds Facebook case

I've just submitted this Freedom of Information request to the CPS:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you seeking information about a case recently heard in the Magistrates’ Court at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk about a 17 year old male defendant who has not been named and has been charged and convicted of an offence involving an update he placed on his Facebook page on the 9th of August. The case has been reported here <> and here <>. It appears that the case was first brought before the court within two days of the offence.

Can you please confirm that the charge in this case fell under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003? If so, please explain why the Serious Crime Act 2007 was not applied as it had been in other similar cases around the same period of time. Also please give details about how the Full Code Test was applied in this case. I’m particularly interested in the evidential stage. Was the defendant advised by the CPS that he must enter a guilty plea if he did not deny sending the offending communication? As the prosecution was expedited very quickly, I would consider an expedited response to my query to be appropriate; therefore, I ask that you please respond by Friday, the 26th of August. Email responses are preferred. Thank you.
I doubt the CPS will honour my request for an expedited response, but I thought I'd give it a try. If you're wondering why I'm interested in this case, read this article which I also wrote.

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