The freedom of speech does not mean that you have a free license to say anything you like, so much so that you cross certain boundaries that would force the authorities to come down on you – and hard, sometimes, as a certain Reece Elliot found out after posting his comment on online memorial pages. 24 year old Reece Elliott who hails from Foss Way, South Shields, placed a threat earlier this February on online memorial pages which were meant for a pair of Tennessee girls who lost their lives in car accidents.
Elliot’s threat caused approximately 3,000 pupils in Warren County to skip school the next day, and after pleading guilty at a Newcastle Crown Court in April, he was then sentenced to serve time in jail for a couple of years and four months. Elliot admitted to making a threat to kill, as well as posting eight grossly offensive messages, where some of his messages posted under a false name read “My father has three guns. I’m planning on killing him first and putting him in a dumpster. Then I’m taking the motor and I’m going in fast. I’m gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself. So you want to tell the deputy, I’m on my way.”