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Prison for rioter who threw pole at police in Ardoyne

A 21-year-old man who threw a scaffolding pole at police during a nationalist riot in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast was jailed for six months yesterday.

Colin Loughlin, of Ardcaoin Gardens in Dunmurry, pleaded guilty to a single charge of rioting on July 12, 2012.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Loughlin was seen on police CCTV footage picking up several missiles and throwing them at police lines.

A prosecuting barrister told Judge Gordon Kerr QC: "He had travelled a distance of some eight miles to the riot. He was captured on CCTV throwing a scaffolding pole and a curtain rail at police."

The lawyer said Loughlin was later identified from the footage by a police officer. Following his arrest he made a no comment interview but, after consultation with his solicitor, he made "full admissions to his involvement in the riot and apologised for his actions".

The court heard Loughlin had previous convictions for assault, disorderly behaviour, assault on police and resisting police.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC sentenced Loughlin to 12 months, with half to be spent in custody and the remainder on licence following his release from prison.

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