Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Loyalists jailed for rioting offences

Police chopper captures men opening fire on security forces

This is the dramatic footage of loyalists opening fire on security forces during some of the worst rioting in years following the re-routing of a contentious Orange Order parade in September 2005.



The men - John Main (38) and Colin Harbinson (36)  - were today jailed for a string of rioting offences including possession of firearms and petrol bombs with intent to endanger life. Main was also found guilty of attempting to murder members of the security forces.

Main and Harbinson, both from Highfield Drive in the Glencairn area of Belfast, were captured on camera by police officers who were flying overhead in the PSNI helicopter.


Above: dramatic footage captured by a police chopper

The footage shows the pair taking it in turns to fire shots as they sheltered beside a children's slide in the garden of a house at West Circular Road on September 10, 2005.

Neighbours, Main and Harbinson were sent to prison for a total of 28 years.

Jailing the pair, Mr Justice Denny said they had taken part in what was "clearly one of the most violent cases of public disorder in recent years in Northern Ireland".

Afterwards outside Belfast Crown Court Detective Superintendent George Clarke,  who headed the investigation to identify the masked gunmen, declared that "our community is safer with these people in jail".

Main was jailed for a total of 17 years for attempting to murder police during the rioting that followed the re-routing of the Whiterock Orange Parade on September 11, 2005, while Harbinson was given 10 years for possessing firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.  Both men also agreed to serve two years each on probation following their release.



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