A man who threw a petrol bomb at police in a "moment of madness" was today handed a three year jail term.
Ordering 21-year-old Kurtis Kenna to spend 18 months in jail and half on supervised licence conditions, Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC declared that anyone who attacked police with potentially lethal petrol bombs will go to jail.
"In my view such behaviour simply cannot be tolerated and in all circumstances, no matter what the personal circumstances of the defendant, must result in a custodial sentence," said the judge who told Kenna: "They're (petrol bombs) well known and you must have known that they can potentially cause horrific injuries."
Kenna, from Ardenvohr Street in east Belfast, had pleaded guilty to throwing a petrol bomb at police on January 5 this year and to possessing an offensive weapon, namely a catapult, on the same date.
Prosecuting lawyer Robin Steer revealed how riot police had been policing serious disturbances at Castlereagh Street and the Beersbridge Road when officers in the police helicopter spotted two men lighting and then throwing a petrol bomb.
In an effort to evade arrest the pair swapped tops but Kenna was arrested shortly afterwards and immediately admitted what he had done.
During police interviews he admitted what he had done was "stupid" and defence lawyer Dennis Boyd revealed how Kenna had described himself as "an a******" who was "standing there with a pack of friends acting jack the lad".
Before Kenna was taken away to the cells and while cuffed, prison officers allowed him to hug his weeping mother and other relatives in the public gallery.