Northern Ireland

Man jailed for throwing masonry at police during flag protest riot

A man who threw a lump of masonry at a police Land Rover during flag protest riots has been jailed.

David McDonnell, 45, from Emerald Street in Belfast, will spend half of his one year sentence in jail and half on supervised licence,

Judge Kinney said the courts' attitude to rioting was "well known".

"Society will not tolerate his kind of behaviour and the courts will impose sentences that punish the defendant and deter others," he said.

McDonnell pleaded guilty to a single charge of rioting on 5 January this year.

Prosecuting lawyer Gareth Purvis said that during a flag protest, a crowd had attacked police at the junction of Castlereagh Street and Templemore Avenue.

He described how two officers had spotted McDonnell throwing a lump of masonry which struck their Land Rover but that at the time, "it was unsafe to conduct an arrest".

The lawyer added that although the missile hit the vehicle, it was impossible to estimate what damage it caused given the extent of disturbances that evening.

However, officers were able to arrest McDonnell around half an hour later.