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Rioter jumped onto police Land Rover

A 19-year-old man has been jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to taking part in a riot in which he was seen jumping on a police Land Rover.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Cory Smyth of Juniper Park, Dunmurry, was among a crowd of around 800 who had gathered at the Divis Street anti-internment bonfire on August 8, 2012.

During the disturbance eight police officers were injured.

A prosecution lawyer told the court that from 8pm around 50 of the mob were throwing stones, broken bottles and paint at police.

Judge Donna McColgan QC heard that the trouble carried on into the early hours of August 9.

A lawyer for the prosecution said: “The defendant was observed as being part of a small crowd of around 10 people who were attacking police with wooden pallets and metal crash gates.

“He was present between 1.37am and 1.51am.

“The defendant was seen waving his arms and jumped on the bonnet of a police Land Rover and was stamping his feet on the Land Rover.

“He was also observed throwing a bottle, stones and pieces of wood at police.”

The court heard Smyth told the police that he had little recollection of events as he had drunk a quarter bottle of vodka and four large bottles of WKD.

The prosecution added: “He admitted throwing six or seven bottles. He apologised for any injuries caused to the police officers.”

A defence solicitor told the court that Smyth was only present at the riot for 14 minutes.

He said: “When he does drink he can’t cope. He is very susceptible to being misled by others.”

Judge McColgan said Smyth was present during “serious public disorder” during August 8 and 9 last year in which bottles, paints, sticks and pallets were thrown at police.

The judge told the court that Smyth was convicted on January 1, 2011 for riotous behaviour and received a community service order of 50 hours.

“However, you breached that order and you were given a three months suspended prison sentence.

“On 1 January, 2013 you were convicting of rioting and given a probation order for 18 months.”

Judge McColgan said that in sentencing Smyth she was taking into account his guilty plea to the rioting charge.

Smyth was sentenced to three years, with 18 months to be spent in custody and the remainder on licence.

 

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