A 19-year-old Newtownabbey teenager rioter who blamed his involvement on drink and others was yesterday ordered to serve 15 months’ detention followed by a similar period on supervised licensed parole.
Her Honour Judge McCaffrey told Andrew James Mulli that drink could never be an excuse, and that he was adult enough to follow his own mind and not be influenced by others.
Mulli, from Tynan Drive, who pleaded guilty to a single charge of rioting in the Twadell Avenue, Woodvale area of north Belfast on July 13 last year, said he’d drunk a bottle of vodka and beer beforehand, and was given a pair of gloves by older men encouraging the riot.
Prosecution lawyer Philip Henry said that Mulli, who gave himself up to police after his photo appeared in local papers, was captured on security video throwing some 18 missiles at police lines during various incidents lasting just over half an hour.
At one stage he was seen to be limping away after apparently being hit by a baton round.
Mr Henry later added that from the CCTV footage Mulli’s actions could be interpreted as that of a ring leader, but although the rioting went on for some time, his involvement only lasted for approximately 34 minutes during the hour and a half he was in the area.
Defence lawyer Karl Huddleston said it was no surprise that alcohol played a major role in Mulli’s appalling, shameful and inexcusable behaviour that day, and while this was an explanation, it was in no way an excuse.
Mr Huddleston added a remorseful Mulli would not have been involved in any rioting and “would have walked away but was under the influence and did not consider the consequences”.