Man jailed for rioting as senior PSNi detectives warn of further arrests

Man jailed for rioting as senior PSNi detectives warn of further arrests

THE PSNI plan to make further arrests over trouble related to Union flag protests and parade disorder as a man was jailed for 18 months for rioting.

Senior police chiefs revealed that to date 560 people have been charged or reported in connection with flag protests in Northern Ireland.

So far 266 people have been convicted in the courts of public order offences, including rioting.

On Monday at Belfast Crown Court, a man from the north of the city was jailed today for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to rioting last year.

David Place (30) was captured on CCTV with a number of men pushing a van into police line on the second night of rioting.

The court was told the rioting erupted around on September 2, 2012, following a republican parade through Carlisle Circus.

Police were confronted by a 400 strong loyalist mob who were involved in rioting for several hours during which industrial waste bins were set alight and pushed towards police lines.

The following night around 8 pm, a 200 strong loyalist crowd gathered and police in riot gear were deployed to stop them from blocking the roundabout at Carlisle Circus.

Police had come under attack with missiles, masonry and bottles and laser pens were pointed directly at riot cops.

Around 9.05 pm police CCTV operators observed Place, of Filor Court, Belfast along with a number of men pushing a van into PSNI lines.

The defendant was arrested in February 2013 by a special detective team set up to investigate incidents of serious public disorder across Northern Ireland.

During questioning he told detectives that he “had been told to do it by others”.

Judge Donna McColgan QC said that Place had two previous convictions for aggravated assault and one for indecent exposure.

The judge told the court that Place had got involved in the riot while under the terms of a suspended sentence for theft and copyright.

She sentenced him to 18 months in custody with a further 18 months to be spent on licence following his release.

As Judge McColgan QC was passing sentence, the officer in charge of Operation Titan, Det Supt Sean Wright, appealed for anyone taking part in planned protests later this month to do so lawfully and peacefully.

He made his appeal as his team carried out further arrests of suspects for public order offences.

Operation Titan was set-up to investigate public order-related incidents since 12 July.

Det Sup Sean Wright heads up the new 'Operation Titan' to probe trouble since July 12

Det Sup Sean Wright heads up the new ‘Operation Titan’ to probe trouble since July 12

Police released the figures at a press conference at PSNI headquarters in Belfast on Monday.

ACC Will Kerr said 2013 had been a challenging year for policing.

He said the last four years had seen a severe dissident republican threat, however recently there had been an upsurge in activity.


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