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Loyalist riot thug dumped by livid Catholic girlfriend

A man jailed for drunkenly throwing beer tins and masonry during a loyalist riot was dumped by his Catholic girlfriend because of what he did, a court has heard.

Simon Johnston was one of two men imprisoned for their roles in a riot at a north Belfast interface.

He and Kenneth Kennedy were both captured on police footage taken during the public disorder at Carlisle Circus on September 2 last year. Both men subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of rioting.

Trouble flared in the area on a day a republican parade took place. A crowd of loyalists gathered at Carlisle Circus and the two defendants were both seen attacking police lines with missiles.

A prosecutor told Belfast Crown Court that Johnston (29), from Donegall Avenue in Belfast, was present for just under two hours and was seen to throw five missiles, two of which were beer tins and at least two which appeared to be pieces of masonry.

Judge Corinne Philpott QC ordered Johnston to serve nine months in custody, with a further nine months on licence.

Kennedy (29), from Sunningdale Gardens in Belfast, was present at last September's riot for over nine hours, during which he was seen to throw numerous missiles at police lines, as well as pushing a wheelie bin at police lines.

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Ordering Kennedy to serve 18 months in custody, with a further two years on licence upon his release, Judge Philpot told him: "You are your own worst enemy."

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