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Twelfth riot thug given sentence of 40 months

A father-of-three who was seen throwing six missiles at police lines during a riot last July has been handed a 40-month sentence.

Leslie Watson, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, will spend 20 months in custody followed by another 20 on supervised licence upon his release.

A Crown prosecutor told Belfast Crown Court that trouble flared in the Woodvale area of north Belfast when a loyalist flute band was not allowed to walk past the Ardoyne shopfronts on its return journey on July 12 last year.

During serious civil unrest police lines came under attack, resulting in a number of officers suffering injuries, some of which required hospital treatment.

Watson was captured on police CCTV in the area from around 8.30pm to 10pm, during which he was seen on six occasions throwing missiles at police lines. He was also seen breaking bricks into smaller pieces.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC heard that when Watson was arrested last November he admitted he became involved in the riot. He told officers he was "a wee bit drunk" and had started throwing bottles at police lines.

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