Scottish man jailed for throwing missiles at police during Woodvale riots

Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye

Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 13th July 2015 -  Woodvale Parade 

Pictured is police riot officers dealing with violence at the Orange order parade as it reaches its stopping point on the Woodvale road in North Belfast, Northern Ireland. 


Picture by Kevin Scott  / Presseye.

Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 13th July 2015 - Woodvale Parade Pictured is police riot officers dealing with violence at the Orange order parade as it reaches its stopping point on the Woodvale road in North Belfast, Northern Ireland. Picture by Kevin Scott / Presseye.

A Scottish man who travelled to Belfast to watch the bands last July got drunk and ended up participating in a riot, a court heard on Tuesday.

Gordon Pringle handed himself in after images appeared on social media of people the PSNI wanted to speak to in connection with a riot in the Woodvale area of Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 13th July  2015  Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Trouble flares on Woodvale Road as a north Belfast Orange Order feeder parade is stopped from continuing their parade past the Ardoyne shops.  The Parades Commission put the restriction on the parade a number of years ago.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th July 2015 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Trouble flares on Woodvale Road as a north Belfast Orange Order feeder parade is stopped from continuing their parade past the Ardoyne shops. The Parades Commission put the restriction on the parade a number of years ago.

The 43-year-old was handed an 18-month sentence at Belfast Crown Court, and was informed he will spend nine months in prison, with the remaining nine on supervised licence when he is released from custody.

Trouble flared in the area on Monday, July 13 last year following a Parade Commission’s determination banning Orange lodges and bands from returning past the nationalist Ardoyne shop fronts.

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

Pringle - who travelled on his own from his Glasgow Road home in Paisley to watch the bands - became involved in the street disorder.

Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins said Pringle was captured on police CCTV rioting for around 45 minutes, during which he pushed a barrier onto the road, and threw around seven missiles including a glass bottle at police.

Mr Jenkins said that he was also seen to cover his face during the riot and “encouraged others to do likewise.” After his image appeared on Facebook, he “made arrangements” to attend with police.

During police interview Pringle told officers that he came over from Scotland on his own to watch the 12th parade, he got very drunk, he followed a band from the city centre and found himself in the Woodvale area.

When shown CCTV footage of the riot, Pringle accepted it was him and said he was ashamed of his behaviour.

Defence solicitor Pat Kelly revealed that as a result of his client’s actions, Pringle’s family have disowned him, saying Dingle’s behaviour was “absolutely appalling and disgraceful.”

He also told Judge Sandra Crawford that Pringle, who works as a cleaner, came before the court aged 43 with a “totally unblemished” criminal record.

The solicitor said that Pringle had not travelled from Scotland as a member of a band or lodge, but had simply came to stand and watch the parade.

Revealing Pringle has expressed remorse, Mr Kelly said he “couldn’t remember a thing” as he was “extremely intoxicated” and got himself “caught up in a situation that he did not fully understand.”

Sending Pringle to jail, he was told by Judge Crawford: “Involvement in violent disorder is a serious offence. You participated in this riot and that is a very grave matter.”