Belfast Telegraph

Three-year sentence for riot thug who helped push van into police lines

A man has been given a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to rioting last year.

Belfast Crown Court heard David Place (30) was captured on CCTV with a number of other men pushing a van into police lines on a second night of rioting in the city.

The court was told the rioting erupted on September 2, 2012, following a republican parade through Carlisle Circus.

Police were confronted by a 400-strong loyalist mob who were involved in rioting for several hours.

The following night, at around 8pm, a 200-strong loyalist crowd gathered in the same area and police in riot gear were deployed to stop them from blocking the roundabout at Carlisle Circus.

Police came under attack from missiles and fireworks, and laser pens were pointed directly at riot squad officers. At around 9.05pm, police CCTV operators observed Place, of Filor Court, Belfast, along with a number of men pushing a van into the PSNI lines.

The defendant was arrested in February 2013 by a special detective team set up to investigate incidents of serious public disorder.

During questioning, Place admitted his involvement in pushing the van at police saying he "had been told to do it by others''.

Judge Donna McColgan QC said that Place had two previous convictions for aggravated assault and one for indecent exposure.

Judge McColgan sentenced Place to three years, with 18 months in custody and the remaining 18 months on licence.

Belfast Telegraph

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