Belfast Telegraph

Flag riot thug who threw masonry at police vehicle is jailed

PAUL HIGGINS

A man who threw a lump of masonry at a police Land Rover during flag protest riots has been jailed for a year.

David McDonnell (45) appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday where he was ordered to spend half his sentence in jail and half on supervised licence by Judge Kinney who said the courts' attitude to rioting was "well-known".

McDonnell, from Emerald Street in Belfast, had pleaded guilty to a single charge of rioting on January 5 this year.

Prosecuting lawyer Gareth Purvis said that during a flag protest, a crowd had attacked police at the junction of Castlereagh Street and Templemore Avenue in Belfast.

He described how two officers had spotted McDonnell throwing a lump of masonry which struck their Land Rover but that at the time "it was unsafe to conduct an arrest".

The lawyer added that although the missile hit the vehicle, it was impossible to estimate what damage it caused given the extent of disturbances that evening. However, officers were able to arrest McDonnell around half-an-hour later.

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