Rioter’s wish to go to prison is granted

Laganside Court Building
Laganside Court Building

A man was jailed yesterday for his part in Twelfth of July rioting – after urging a judge not to spare him prison.

Reece Shaw received a two-month sentence for throwing a missile during sectarian trouble in east Belfast.

A judge imposed the term behind bars on being told the defendant was opposed to a suspended sentence.

Defence lawyer Michael Madden said his client did not want anything left weighing on his mind.

Shaw, 21, of Martinez Avenue, Belfast, pleaded guilty to a charge of riotous behaviour.

He had been identified on CCTV footage of disorder surrounding Orange Order parades last summer.

Rival factions traded missiles across the interface between the Newtownards Road and nationalist Short Strand enclave.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard Shaw was himself hit on the head and retaliated in a momentary loss of temper.

He lifted an object and threw it back towards the Short Strand.

With no realistic alternatives to a jail sentence, Mr Madden confirmed his highly unusual instructions were to seek immediate imprisonment.

On that basis, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ordered him to serve two months in custody.