Rioter 'jumped on police Land Rover'

Published Monday, 20 January 2014
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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.

Rioter 'jumped on police Land Rover'
Smyth was handed a three-year sentence. (© UTV)

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 8 August, 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 9 August when a crowd of 100 remained at the scene.

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.

"Police evidence gatherers were present and recorded the rioting.

"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 evidence against you left you with no other option but to plead guilty.

Judge Donna McColgan QC

Smyth was identified by police and was arrested at the scene and taken to Musgrave Street PSNI station for questioning.

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."

The court was told that at the time of the riot, Smyth was in breach of a suspended prison sentence for a previous riot.

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

The judge told the court that Smyth was convicted on 1 January, 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.

However, the judge added: "The evidence against you was overwhelming.

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

Judge McColgan refused a prosecution request to have Smyth subjected to an Anti Social Behaviour Order.

"I don't think it is needed. By the time you are released from prison you will be subject to an 18 month period on licence under the supervision of the Probation Service," added the judge.

© UTV News
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18 Comments
toron cana in belfast wrote (270 days ago):
thats a bit harsh three years for jumping on a land rover. gerry kelly done it and got away with it. so i guess there is one rule for one and another rule for others. typical british justice system full of discrimination.
Eamonn in Belfast wrote (271 days ago):
To Belfast in Belfast we can all read and the anniversary of internment is as it states in august. This guy was treated far to softly in the past he needs a longer sentence to stop this behaviour. This is the main reason the Bonfires on 8th August every year need to stop. More community spirited recreation is needed to bring these idiots back into our community. The Fladh is great but some still feel alienated and that is where we need to get things started. We do not need these guys going to jail just more included in the everyday life of our communities.
pip in belfast wrote (273 days ago):
yet gerry kelly got an informed warning unbelievable well done to the judge for showing people that we have equality in our justice system oh wait...........never mind
martin in belfast wrote (273 days ago):
Good work by the PSNI and the courts. Hopefully this young lad has learnt a lesson and can start to rebuild his life.
Will in Belfast wrote (274 days ago):
Belfast in Belfast no it happened on the 8th of August just like it does every year in Divis
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