Teenager appears in court charged with attempting to incite Northampton riot using Blackberry phone

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A TEENAGER has appeared in court charged with using an instant messaging system in an attempt to incite a riot in Northampton on Tuesday night.

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Curwen, of Watermeadow Drive, Thorplands, Northampton, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday accused of sending an inflammatory message to 140 people telling them to meet in Abington Park armed with “bats and weapons”.

The court heard he allegedly sent the message via the Black Berry Messenger (BBM) system, which was used by youths up and down the country to organise violent disturbances in cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester. Prosecuting, Matthew Thomas said the severity of the alleged offences must be seen in the context of the shocking disturbances in the UK this week.

He told the court that the allegation was that Curwen had attempted to incite and encourage similar trouble in Northampton.

Curwen, who works for a firm selling holiday insurance, was arrested after a message was shown to a police officer.

Mr Thomas said: “The officer was approached by a young lady who through BlackBerry Messenger had received a message saying to meet at Abington Park at 10pm and to bring with them bats and weapons.”

At around 8pm on Tuesday night, around 20 youths started causing trouble in Abington Park, before moving down Wellingborough Road, where they began hurling stones and rocks at cars, passers-by and then the police.

Ten arrests were made during the disturbances, which happened outside the Spread Eagle pub.

One police riot van was also left with a smashed windscreen and dented roof.

Curwen was denied bail and was then remanded into custody to appear at Northampton Crown Court next week.