AN INTERNET troll who claimed the murder of Lee Rigby was a conspiracy designed to provoke anti-Islamic feeling has escaped an immediate jail term after refusing to accept that he did anything wrong.
Grandfather Christopher Spivey, of Rochford, Essex, posted a series of comments on social media about Fusilier Rigby’s killing – including claiming the soldier had never existed and that the story of his murder was a conspiracy.
He also made direct contact with members of the Rigby family.
The 52-year-old denied harassment and sending grossly offensive messages over social media but was found guilty after a two-day trial at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.
A sentencing hearing yesterday heard that Spivey continues to protest his innocence and stands by the claims.
Sentencing him to six months in prison suspended for two years, District Judge John Woollard said: “I have been a district judge for 17 years and very rarely I come across conspiracy theorists like you.
“Experience tells me it’s pointless telling you you are wrong because you believe I am part of the conspiracy.
“You totally fail to accept that what you were doing had a profound and shattering effect on the family.
“They had been thrust into the public eye and were bereaved in a terrible way and then they’re contacted by somebody like you making the most ridiculous comments and claims.
“All because sitting in your bedroom in Rochford you come to the conclusion MI5 and various other organisations are conspiring to mislead the public.
“You will be convinced until you die that you are right and everyone else is wrong.” The judge also made Spivey subject to a restraining order, banning him from posting on blogs or social media and contacting Fusilier Rigby’s family.
Fusilier Rigby, from Greater Manchester, was murdered as he returned to his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, in May 2013.
He died of multiple stab wounds.
Michael Adebolajo was given a whole-life term and Michael Adebowale was jailed for a minimum of 45 years at the Old Bailey for his murder last year.
Prosecutor Simon Bravey said Fusilier Rigby’s mother, Lyn Rigby, was the first to be alerted to Spivey’s Facebook posts.
This included claims that the murder was a hoax and part of an MI5 conspiracy and that pictures of him had been altered, as well as a series of “bad taste” comments.
In a statement read to the court, Mrs Rigby said she found his claims “extremely disturbing” and “sick”.
Spivey also posted the family’s home addresses and private photographs. He contacted Fusilier Rigby’s sister, Sarah McClure and claimed her husband, Rob, also a soldier, and Fusilier Rigby were the same person.