Belfast Telegraph

Jail for Bogside rioter caught on CCTV when face mask slipped off

Jailing Moore, Judge McCaffrey told him that the many years he had already spent in jail for public order offences was a waste of a young life (stock photo)
Jailing Moore, Judge McCaffrey told him that the many years he had already spent in jail for public order offences was a waste of a young life (stock photo)

A petrol bomber who exposed his backside to police during a riot in Londonderrry has been jailed.

John Paul Moore (23) was identified when he was shot with a plastic bullet and his mask fell off.

It happened during four hours of sustained disorder, when rioters attacked police lines during disturbances in Fahan Street in the Bogside in July last year.

Moore, whose address was given as care of Maghaberry Prison, fell to the ground after he was hit with a high energy projectile fired by the police.

During the rioting Moore, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, turned his back on the police lines and exposed his buttocks.

He was jailed for five-and-a-half years at the city's Crown Court yesterday.

Police CCTV camera operators both on the ground and in an overhead helicopter had filmed Moore as he struggled to put the mask back on his face.

Moore, who had 27 previous criminal convictions, many of them for public order offences, arrived in Fahan Street in the early hours of July 12 of last year after walking seven miles from Campsie, where he'd had a row with his partner, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of riotous assembly, guilty to five charges of possessing petrol bombs in suspicious circumstances and guilty to four charges of throwing petrol bombs at police lines, damaging one of the police vehicles.

A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey that about 200 people were present during the four-hour long disturbances when up to 50 petrol bombs were thrown at the police.

When he was arrested Moore denied the offences and said to police officers "prove it".

When he was then shown the CCTV footage he said: "I couldn't give a f***."

His defence barrister Stephen Mooney said Moore didn't "have a political thought in his head, and to say he had would be to give him forethought which he is not blessed with".

"As regards what he said when arrested, he can be a big man during interviews but he is a small boy when it comes to today's proceedings," Mr Mooney said.

At an earlier hearing he said during the rioting the defendant "was so inebriated that he could not spell IED".

Jailing Moore, Judge McCaffrey told him that the many years he had already spent in jail for public order offences was a waste of a young life.

She made an order that when he is released from jail, Moore will be banned from going within 500m of any parade or demonstration.

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