Belfast Telegraph

Addict is jailed for attacking riot police in Royal Avenue

By Michael Donnelly

A recovering drug addict who couldn't remember throwing a brick at police during rioting last summer has been sentenced to a total of 15 months.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins said 32-year-old father-of-two Dean Brian Atcheson was captured on CCTV rioting in Royal Avenue on August 9 last year.

During the trouble, officers came under sustained attack, leaving 58 injured. Police had to fire baton rounds and a water cannon was also deployed.

Mr Jenkins told the Crown Court that Atcheson, who is being treated for drug abuse, was part of an earlier loyalist counter-demonstration to an anti-interment rally, and was later pictured either pushing or punching at police shields on up to six occasions, and throwing a brick at police lines.

During police interview Atcheson, from Rathfern Way, Newtownabbey, said he got involved in the rioting after becoming annoyed when his aunt was pushed up against a shutter.

Atcheson, who pleaded guilty to rioting, will serve seven and a half months behind bars, with the rest on supervised parole.

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