Man jailed for petrol bombing in 2010 Ardoyne riots

Overnight riots in Ardoyne Several police officers were injured during the rioting

The last of the defendants to appear before the Crown Court over the 2010 Ardoyne riots has been jailed for four years.

However, Hugh Booth, 26, from Cliftonville Road in north Belfast will only serve 12 months in custody because of mental health issues.

Thousands of missiles were thrown at police during disturbances on 12 July 2010. Dozens of officers were injured.

Booth admitted rioting and throwing a petrol bomb.

The court heard he was also seen on CCTV playing an "active and persistent" role initially as part of a sit-down protest but then attacking a police land rover, trying to open the rear doors and throwing bricks at it.

His actions culminated in him throwing a petrol bomb, the court heard.

Start Quote

I am satisfed that the defendant's general mental health is not best served by an extended period of custody”

End Quote Tom Burgess Crown Court Judge

On Wednesday, Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess said that had he sentenced Booth last July as planned, he would have jailed him for four years given the fact that the petrol bomb is a "potentially lethal weapon".

But he said pre-sentence reports indicated previously undiagnosed psychiatric issues.

Mr Burgess said various reports compiled on him evidenced long-standing psychiatric issues and that any lengthy term of imprisonment would result in his condition deterioriating.

Describing the case as an "exceptional set of circumstances," Judge Burgess adding that in his view: "I am satisfed that the defendant's general mental health is not best served by an extended period of custody".

Booth must spend three years on licence following his release.

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