Northern Ireland

Dungannon man jailed for part in Belfast riot

Police at riot in Belfast city centre Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Police were attacked during rioting in Belfast on 9 August 2013

A County Tyrone man who admitted taking part in a riot last year in Belfast city centre has been jailed.

William Black, 28, of Syerla Road, Dungannon, will serve six months of a one-year sentence in jail and the remainder on supervised licence.

A prosecution lawyer said he was filmed on police CCTV throwing three items at police lines on Royal Avenue.

The rioting broke out after a loyalist protest against a republican anti-internment parade on 9 August 2013.

Belfast Crown Court was told Black had a clear criminal record and worked as a schools groundskeeper as part of a religiously mixed workforce.

A defence lawyer said Black was a member of a local pipe band that was not "associated with triumphalism or sectarian behaviour".

The judge said that on the evening in question, police had tried to "keep both sides apart", but 56 officers sustained injuries as a result of "extensive public disorder".

She said that given his employment history, where he worked with people "from a different religion" on a daily basis, she found it "difficult to fathom" why he became involved in the incident.

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