Jailed Twaddell rioter had drunk 40 bottles of cider

The rioting happened at the Twaddell/Woodvale area last summer
The rioting happened at the Twaddell/Woodvale area last summer

A young man who claimed he can’t really remember rioting at a notorious Belfast flashpoint after drinking 40 bottles of Magners Cider has been sent to jail.

Scott Cross – who was due to join the Army prior to his arrest for rioting last summer – was handed an 18-month sentence at Belfast Crown Court.

The 19-year-old, from Rutherglen Street in Belfast, admitted a charge of rioting in the north of the city on July 13 last year. He was told he will spend half of his sentence in custody, and half on licence upon his release.

Trouble flared in the Woodvale/Twaddell area following a Parades Commission determination banning an Orange Lodge from returning past the nationalist Ardoyne shopfronts last July.

Over 20 police officers were injured after police lines were pelted with masonry, bricks, bottles and other items, with one officer almost losing an ear.

Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins told Judge Gordon Kerr QC that Cross was captured on CCTV in the area for around four hours, during which he threw a number of items at police.

Mr Jenkins said: “On one occasion, he can be seen to throw around 18 missiles out of his jacket pocket.”

Cross was identified by police and arrested last September, and during interview he admitted he was the man in the footage rioting. He also told police he was “really drunk” and would not have behaved in the way he did if he’d been sober.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey said that his young client came before the court with a completely clear criminal record. Saying that Cross “admitted full culpability” and “never once tried to deny his involvement”, the barrister said his client could hardly remember what happened due to his alcohol consumption.