Belfast Telegraph

Twaddell rioter was spotted on news site by his boss

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 26-year-old store worker who was wanted in connection with a riot in north Belfast handed himself in to police after his boss saw his image on a news website and contacted him, a court has heard.

Craig McIntyre, from Woodvale Road in Belfast, was present in the Twaddell Avenue/Woodvale area of the city over a three-hour period spanning July 12 and 13 last year.

Belfast Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of the incident, and while McIntyre was initially unmasked, he was later observed wearing a 'jester'-type mask and hat.

A Crown prosecutor told Judge Corinne Philpott QC that McIntyre was seen picking up a bottle and throwing it at police lines. He was also observed dancing at the front of the crowd before being targeted by water cannon.

The prosecutor told the court that after his image was shown on the UTV website, McIntyre was recognised by his boss. McIntyre handed himself in, and during police interview he "identified himself both unmasked and wearing the mask". He also admitted throwing the bottle and a golf ball at police.

Defence barrister Sean Devine told the court his client – who had a clear criminal record – had endured a childhood marred by violence.

It resulted in McIntyre binge-drinking, with the barrister telling the court his behaviour last July was "borne out of alcohol being taken to massively epic, excessive proportions" as he had been drinking for three days.

Mr Devine also spoke of his client's academic success, good employment history and courteous manner, saying it was hard to reconcile his actions last July with the hard-working man that he is.

Telling McIntyre she was giving him "maximum" credit for meeting the charge in a straightforward manner and co-operating fully with police, Judge Philpott handed him a nine-month prison sentence.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph