Community order for Facebook hate campaigner

John Egglestone.
John Egglestone.
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FACEBOOK ranter John Eggleston has been spared an internet ban after making threats against police online.

He posted hate-filled comments on the Northumbria Police Facebook page.

Sentencing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Roger Elsey decided against imposing a restraining order preventing Eggleston from using the internet.

He told the 39-year-old, of East Moor Road, Pallion: “You should reflect on the fact that committing crime will not help you achieve your aim.

“Nothing has changed as a result of committing these crimes, except you have brought a punishment against yourself.

“However, you need to think very carefully about how you express yourself in future, because if you commit further offences, you will be dealt with more severely.”

Eggleston was given a 12-month community order after being convicted of committing two offences under the Communications Act.

After declaring war on the force, he threatened to kill officers and left an obscene message regarding Chief Constable Sue Sim.

In mitigation, defence solicitor Jason Smith said: “He now feels satisfied that he has had his chance to rail against the system and somebody listened, to the extent that he can say that the requirement to rail against the system is somewhat sated.”

During the trial last month, the court heard how Eggleston launched a series of abusive messages on the social networking site in February.

He was arrested, but went on to unleash more hate-filled posts on another public Facebook page weeks later.

Eggleston denied he intended to carry out any of his threats, claiming they were part of a bid to get attention for his cause, and that there was no evidence other people had seen them.

He said he had been fighting a five-year battle against the force over allegations of corruption.

It stemmed from two convictions in 2006 for assaulting police officers at Gill Bridge police station, which were later quashed on appeal to Newcastle Crown Court.

But Eggleston said he had come up against a “brick wall” in trying to instigate investigations into his claims.

He was given a 12-month community order and must pay £150 towards prosecution costs, which will be deducted from his benefits.

Twitter: @janethejourno