Jail sentences for online abusers could be increased

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling says he wants those found guilty of sending abusive online messages to spend up to two years in jail.

The BBC reports that proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill would quadruple the current maximum six month term and hand magistrates the power to pass serious cases of baying cyber mobs” onto the crown courts.

The proposal would also afford police extra time to gather evidence of alleged perpetrators.

"These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life,” Grayling said. "No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence.

This is a law to combat cruelty – and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message – if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."

The changes will be discussed in the House of Lords this week.

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