Judge rejects leniency plea as Ardoyne rioter jailed

Trouble broke out on July 13 last year
Trouble broke out on July 13 last year

A 33-year-old rioter has been sentenced to two years despite defence claims the courts could now take a more lenient view.

Rejecting the argument, Judge Patrick Kinney declared rioting was a personal choice, and would not be tolerated by society and would continue to be met by deterrent sentences from the courts.

The Belfast Crown Court judge told William Samuel Reynolds he must accept the consequences for his willing and deliberate involvement. The custody threshold was clearly met and there was nothing exceptional to allow the sentence to be suspended.

The father of three from Silverstream Road, Belfast, pleaded guilty to a single charge of rioting on July 13 last year at the Woodvale Road-Twaddell Avenue flashpoint with the Ardoyne shops. He will serve a year in custody followed by 12 months on supervised parole.

Reynolds claimed he was intoxicated at the time, and if sober would not have got caught up in the atmosphere.

Earlier prosecution lawyer Simon Jenkins told how Reynolds was captured on CCTV for approximately 40 minutes rioting, throwing a number of missiles, and going among the crowd at times armed with bottles.