Scottish Twelfth riot thug is jailed
A 53-year-old heroin addict from Scotland who danced on top of a police Land Rover during a riot in north Belfast has been handed a three-year sentence.
Alexander Bain – who spent several days in hospital after being hit with a plastic bullet – was described as a "main aggressor" in a crowd of loyalists who attacked police lines in the Woodvale/Twaddell area last summer. From Hillpark Drive in Glasgow, Bain will spend 15 months in custody, with a further 15 months spent on supervised licence upon his release.
Belfast Crown Court heard that trouble flared in the Woodvale area of the city following a Parades Commission determination not to allow a loyalist flute band to walk past the Ardoyne shopfronts on their return journey on July 12 last year.
During intense rioting, officers were pelted with petrol bombs, masonry, bottles and other missiles. Around 20 were injured, five of whom were hospitalised.
Crown prosecutor Robin Steer said Bain was involved in several incidents including climbing on top of a police Land Rover, where he danced on the roof of the vehicle, kicked a metal grill and gestured that he was urinating on officers.
He was arrested two days later but had to be taken to hospital, where he was treated for a wound caused by the plastic bullet.
A lawyer for Bain revealed his client suffered from a number of health issues. He added that Bain was a "frequent visitor to Northern Ireland", and that after attending the main Twelfth demonstration Bain "followed the crowd and ended up in the Woodvale area".
Sentencing Bain, Judge Gordon Kerr QC accepted that Bain has addiction and health issues, but said that due to his actions last July "this man must go to prison."