Northern Ireland

Gerry Kelly should have faced prosecution, says Dodds

Gerry Kelly
Image caption Gerry Kelly was carried for a short distance on the front of a police vehicle

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly should have been prosecuted over an incident in which he was carried on the front of a police vehicle last June, DUP MP Nigel Dodds has said.

The incident followed the loyalist Tour of the North parade in Belfast.

Mr Kelly said he had been given an "informed warning", which is a formal reprimand by the police.

While it is not a conviction, it is recorded on a person's criminal record for 12 months.

A police spokesperson said they did not comment on named individuals.

Mr Dodds said Mr Kelly should not have "escaped conviction for blatantly obstructing the PSNI in the operation of their duties".

"The soft handling of this case by the justice system stands in stark contrast to other cases over the past year, with custodial sentences given to bandsmen for playing a flute and to others who have obstructed the police in the operation of their duties," he said.

TUV leader Jim Allister said: "This will do nothing to restore loyalist faith in policing, but, rather, it will perpetuate the present disconnect."

However, Mr Kelly said: "I have always believed that this is a matter which should not be brought before the courts."

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