Belfast Telegraph

East Belfast rioter who got sister to lie for him jailed

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man who got his sister to lie on his behalf to a jury got a three-and-a-half year sentence for his role in a riot in east Belfast.

Neil Nabney was found guilty by a jury on a charge of rioting on January 5 last year. The jury took minutes to return the verdict after "overwhelming evidence" was presented against him at Belfast Crown Court last month.

Nabney suffers from a rare condition called Treacher Collins Syndrome, which has resulted in extensive facial scarring.

When police showed him CCTV footage from the riot and pointed out scarring to the face of the man on the footage, Nabney told officers he couldn't see scarring.

Defence barrister Paul Bacon accepted his client opted to fight the charge "in the face of very compelling CCTV evidence".

Judge Donna McColgan sentenced Nabney to serve 21 months in custody with the remaining 21 months on supervised licence.

The judge told him: "Not only did you lie to this court over a period of days, but you also had your sister lie on your behalf."

During the trial the Crown told the jury that Nabney (34), from Enler Park Central in Dundonald, was part of a loyalist crowd that had gathered at the City Hall in Belfast on January 5, 2013.

Later in east Belfast Nabney was captured on police CCTV talking to a man with a gun, breaking masonry and throwing missiles.

When interviewed by police two months later he claimed his memory wasn't great, but on January 5 he was probably minding his sister's children.

Telling the court Nabney had lost his job, car and will lose his home, Mr Bacon said: "One moment of utter madness has left his life in ruins."

Belfast Telegraph

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