Four people involved in an incident which occurred as a band parade walked past a Catholic church in Belfast were yesterday branded a “disgrace” by one of Belfast’s top judges.
Judge Corinne Philpott QC spoke of “anti-social
behaviour bubbling under the surface” and praised the actions of the
police for “quickly quelling” the situation.
A Crown prosecutor
told Belfast Crown Court that trouble flared on Belfast’s Donegall
Street on August 25, 2012 when a band parade made its way past St
A Scottish man who has already been dealt with in
Belfast Magistrates’ Court approached a group of nationalist protestors
and walked into their banner, which said ‘Respect Our Community’.
prosecutor said that when the nationalist protestors reacted, a group
of band supporters who were standing on the other side of the road
“surged forward”, resulting in a brief period of affray which lasted up
to seven seconds.
Three people from Belfast who took part in that
affray were Jonathan Charles Bustard, 31, from Matchett Street, 37-year
old community worker Alison Simpson from Disraeli Street and Robert
Smith, 37, from Ashmore Place. They all pleaded guilty to a single
charge of affray.
A fourth man, 30-year old Glen Baker from
Inverwood Gardens in the city, was also present.
The court heard that
when riot police were calming the situation, he threw a traffic cone at
police lines which hit a female officer.
Baker subsequently pleaded
guilty to assaulting the officer occasioning actual bodily harm.
and Simpson were each ordered to serve 160 hours community service,
while Baker was ordered to serve 240 hours community service.
handed a one-year prison sentence, which was suspended for two years.