Ex-soldier caught with petrol bomb

Ex-soldier caught with petrol bomb

A former Irish Guardsman caught while attempting to light a second petrol bomb during rioting last July has been jailed for just under two years.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland told Garry Alan Montgomery, 30, that he would serve 20 months followed by a similar period on supervised licenced parole.Montgomery, for Springfield Road, Belfast, pleaded guilty to rioting and resisting police on 15 July last year.Jailing Montgomery, the Crown Court judge also praised the sergeant who arrested him after he was spotted attempting to light a second device during rioting in the Glenmachan Street, Broadway area of the city.Judge McFarland said the sergeant deserved to be commended not only for his leadership, but also for his bravery in the decision to arrest Montgomery, "there and then".The judge said it appeared the common practice of the police during riots was to stand their ground and take all that was thrown at them. Then at a later stage, they would then view photographs or CCTV footage to identify offenders for arrest.Judge McFarland said that Montgomery was initially seen lighting and throwing one petrol bomb which landed adjacent to police lines.Then approximately 20 minutes later, he was seen with a second device, which he left on the ground after failing to light it.However, he soon returned and when he was seen attempting to ignite the petrol bomb, the decision was to taken to arrest him.He added that Montgomery had 25 previous convictions, including eight for disorderly behaviour and one of robbery, and told him: "But unfortunately you do not appear to have learned much about your offending because your continue to offend."However, Judge McFarland said he would accept Montgomery made his guilty plea at the first opportunity, and that he had a reasonable work record, although disjointed, which included a non-too commendable spell in the Irish Guards.The Court of Appeal, he added, had made it clear that only in highly exceptional cases would rioters escape an immediate jail term and that there was nothing exceptional, never mind highly exceptional in Montgomery's case.

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