Spider-Man mask thug is jailed for rioting during loyalist demonstration in Belfast
A hooligan jailed for pelting police with bricks while wearing a Spider-Man mask was given court references by a DUP mayor and councillor.
Father of two Ronnie Nelson was filmed rioting on Belfast's Royal Avenue during a loyalist demonstration against an anti-internment parade on August 9 last year.
The 29-year-old mechanic from East Way in Rathcoole will serve 18 months in jail followed by 18 months on parole.
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland initially questioned the references praising the rioter by Newtownabbey Mayor Thomas Hogg and Councillor Stephen Ross until it became clear they were written in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the residents of Newtownabbey.
Jailing Nelson, Judge McFarland told him that Belfast had enough rioters without others travelling to the city to add to trouble.
The Crown Court judge said Nelson had been involved in an extremely bad riot in which 58 police officers were injured.
Nelson's lawyer said his client's life now lies in ruins.