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Prison for Belfast riot thug caught on CCTV

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Less than one month later, on August 9, McNerlin was captured on CCTV as part of a crowd of loyalist protesters who gathered in Royal Avenue to oppose an anti-internment parade

Less than one month later, on August 9, McNerlin was captured on CCTV as part of a crowd of loyalist protesters who gathered in Royal Avenue to oppose an anti-internment parade

Less than one month later, on August 9, McNerlin was captured on CCTV as part of a crowd of loyalist protesters who gathered in Royal Avenue to oppose an anti-internment parade

A 31-year-old Belfast man who involved himself in two riots is starting a 18-month prison sentence.

John McNerlin, from Highfern Gardens, admitted rioting on July 12 last year in the Woodvale/Twaddell area and again in Royal Avenue in the city centre on August 9.

Belfast Crown Court heard how trouble flared in north Belfast last July following a Parade Commission decision not to allow a local flute band to march past the Ardoyne shop fronts on their return. Serious disorder broke out and a crowd of around 5,000 loyalists gathered in the area. A total of 56 police officers were injured, five of whom were hospitalised.

McNerlin was present for just under one hour, during which time he was seen throwing a total of three bottles at police lines.

Less than one month later, on August 9, McNerlin was captured on CCTV as part of a crowd of loyalist protesters who gathered in Royal Avenue to oppose an anti-internment parade. He was observed "assisting and encouraging others to riot" and was also seen breaking up bits of masonry and handing these out to others to throw at police. The court heard McNerlin has 18 previous convictions.

Belfast Telegraph