Man, 22, posted ‘grossly offensive’ anti-Muslim Facebook messages after Woolwich soldier murder


A man has appeared in court accused of posting a ‘grossly offensive’ racist anti-Muslim Facebook message following last week’s horrific murder of a soldier in Woolwich.

Benjamin Flatters, 22, also faces charges of sending lewd messages to a girl under the age of 13.

Lincoln Magistrates Court heard that Flatters is charged with posting a message on Facebook on May 22 which was either indecent or grossly offensive in breach of the 1988 Malicious Communications Act.

No details of the message were given at the hearing

Flatters, of Drayton Road, Swineshead, Lincs., was remanded in custody following Saturday’s 20-minute hearing, during which he only spoke to confirm his name, age and address.

The court was told he faces further matters including four charges of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity by sending sexual messages by Facebook.

Those charges relate to the period between November 16 2011 and January 18 2012.

Flatters is also accused of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and offering to supply cannabis in December 2011.

He was remanded in custody until Wednesday May 29 when he will appear before Skegness Magistrates via video link.

The court appearance came just 24 hours after Lincolnshire Police warned members of the public to be mindful of their social network posts.

A force spokesman said: “We have received a number of reports from local members of the public about tweets and Facebook comments that could potentially incite racial hatred and violence.

“These are currently being investigated. If such communications are reported to us and they do breach the law, those messages may be monitored; captured and robust police action will be considered.

“We would urge people to consider the very real impact of their online comments in relation to this matter.”


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