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Be careful of what you post online!

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It’s easy to post a picture or comment on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Bebo without contemplating the consequences of your actions.

Two individuals have recently found themselves in hot water after they posted photographs on Facebook and Twitter purporting to be of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who were convicted of killing two-year-old James Bulger in 1993. Contempt proceedings were instigated in the public interest by the Attorney General in February 2013 and the High Court has now handed down custodial sentences for contempt of court as the individuals breached an injunction imposed before Venables and Thompson were released, which prohibits the solicitation or publication of any information purporting to identify their physical appearance, whereabouts, movements or new identities.

Although both of the individuals had removed the offending pictures and apologised, the court decided to impose custodial sentences in order deter others from similar actions, as well as to punish the individuals concerned. It therefore sentenced each of them to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for 15 months.

After the ruling, the Attorney General himself pointed out that an internet post takes seconds, but can have major consequences. So, if you are a social networking user, think carefully before you click your mouse!