Belfast Telegraph

Two-time north Belfast rioter spared jail on medical grounds

A father who threw masonry at police after going to rescue his teenage daughters from rioting in north Belfast has been spared jail.

Jason McCormick's three-month prison sentence was suspended due to exceptional medical circumstances.

The 39-year-old, from the Crumlin Road area, admitted a charge of riotous behaviour on July 13 last year.

Sustained disorder had broken out over the ban on Orangemen parading back past the nationalist Ardoyne area.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard McCormick was seen approaching police lines on the Woodvale Road with bottles.

He then threw a chunk of masonry at officers, according to the prosecution.

A defence lawyer said McCormick's partner had phoned and asked him to get their two daughters away from the area.

The defendant set out and eventually found them, the court heard.

However, it was accepted that he also hurled a plastic bottle and small brick at police.

Undisclosed medical issues were also raised.

Noting that McCormick was recently given a suspended sentence over a separate rioting case, District Judge Fiona Bagnall decided it would be wrong to be inconsistent.

"There will be three months (prison), suspended for 18 months, on the basis of exceptionality," she said.

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