Belfast Telegraph

Three-month sentence for bottle-throwing rioter

A man who attacked police with bottles after being blasted by a water cannon during rioting in Belfast has been jailed for three months.

James Dean Vance was identified on CCTV footage of Twelfth of July disorder in the north of the city.

The 32-year-old, of Dewey Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty to a single charge of riotous behaviour.

Vance was part of a crowd gathered at Woodvale Road amid tensions over a banned Orange Order parade in the area.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard he was seen getting increasingly drunk during the trouble.

At one stage he was knocked over by water cannon deployed to deal with the situation, but remained at the scene.

Vance then threw two bottles at police lines, according to the prosecution.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that despite being there for several hours, this was his only involvement in the riot.

The barrister claimed his client started off trying to stop others attacking police before alcohol took hold.

"He made the case that he was hit by water cannon and his phone was broke. He then got involved as a result," Mr McConkey told the court.

But District Judge Fiona Bagnall held that Vance's behaviour amounted to serious street disorder.

Imposing a three-month jail sentence, she said: "When anybody starts to throw items in this context at police, it takes it past the custody threshold."

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