BELFAST RIOTS: POLICE CHARGE SIX MEN

PSNI riot squad officer knocked out after struck by metal missile in Royal Avenue on Friday night

PSNI riot squad officer knocked out after struck by metal missile in Royal Avenue on Friday night

DETECTIVES have charged six people arrested during riots in Belfast on Friday evening.

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott described the violence as “sheer thuggery” which left 56 officers injured, with four needing hospital treatment.

Officers came under sustained attack from protesters in Royal Avenue, as loyalists staged a demonstration against a republican parade.

Six men aged 19, 23, 28, 35, 37 and 57 have been charged with various offences.

A seventh man aged 37 was released on police bail pending further enquiries.

During the onslaught, a number of parked cars were set on fire and businesses were damaged close to the city’s main shopping area.

The Sunflower Bar had its windows smashed.

The 19-year-old has been charged with riotous assembly, while the two men aged 35 and 37 were charged with riotous behaviour, obstructing police and resisting police.

The 28-year-old man has been charged with riotous assembly, obstructing police and resisting police.

All four are expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday, August 12.

The 57-year-old man has been charged with disorderly behaviour, assault on police and resisting police and is due to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on September 4.

The 23-year-old man has been charged with disorderly behaviour, obstructing police, two counts of resisting police and possessing a class A controlled drug.

He is expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on September 5.

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