A place apart, judicially…

AFTER the fiasco of loyalist “foot soldiers” escaping jail after they attacked an ice cream van that the UDA wanted protection money from, you might like to compare and contrast court action against similar crimes in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Local rioters rarely (ever?) get more than six months these days, but even after the sentences of some of the Bradford rioters were reduced a couple of years ago, they were still all longer than the average NI sentence – and you’d certainly never hear judges say this in Laganside courthouse. Here’s a more recent example of how tribal violence is treated as a crime and not a recreational activity by courts in Great Britain – ten men involved in a violent attack on a Portuguese-run pub after England’s defeat in Euro 2004 have been jailed for between eight and 18 months, the Beeb reports. Wouldn’t happen here, oh no. Heck, do the clubs here even ban fans who attack other supporters? It’s not like you even need an ASBO

  • loyalist

    Was this not posted just below? Gonzo should try and restrict his predictable crying on a subject.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m completely unsurprised by a chap calling himself a loyalist trying to suggest that discussion on rioting and disorder be restricted.

    Gonzo’s completely right. Nobody in this country – police, politicians, judges, “community workers” – nobody – seems to be willing to want to take this problem on. Instead we just have to shut up and live through this Clockwork Orange existence, and allow ourselves to be terrorized, have our cars or even homes attacked or burnt out. It needs to be highlighted as often as possible. Perhaps our media could do something constructive for a change in this respect.

  • spirit-level

    Comrade Stalin, I suggest it’ll take more time, but will eventually happen. In a media dominated by unionist thinking, where up till now stories grabbing headlines always were of the order : “Killing/robbing/shooting/theft linked to IRA/SF man/men”.
    The political will isn’t there for the kind of even-handed self-analysis that is required.Sad!

  • willis

    I also suspect that there are few councils on the other island which would have a waste strategy which ignores the cultural aspects of open air incineration.

  • beano

    Spirit level you’re sounding a touch paranoid there with that comment I think. “media dominated by unionist thinking” ???

    Anyway, “Loyalist”, I shall refrain from asking what you consider yourself to be loyal to exactly and ask why you feel that people out rioting on our streets shouldn’t be given tough prison sentences to leave the rest of the law-abiding citizens of this United Kingdom to get on with our lives in peace.

  • Fanny

    The idea that the media is ignoring loyalist violence is simply untrue.
    You’d almost think republicans resented the widespread reporting of loyalist attacks, such is their sullen refusal to acknowledge it.

  • spirit-level

    You remind me of a world chess tournie in the 1930’s when the leader Nimzowitch was on 8.5/11 with 2 rounds to go , and he famously reported to the press, that he wasn’t being paranoid , but felt everyone was out to get him 🙂

  • aquifer

    Two and three year sentences for people ‘of previous good character’ for rioting in Bradford.

    So its not just the union jacks up lampposts that end up as faded scraps here, it’s the british justice too.

  • loyalist

    Gonzo and Comrade Stalin will of course be as vocal in their calls for prison sentences for those drunks involved in rioting and attacking elderly orangemen and young bandsmen in Castlederg. Of course.

  • Headmelter

    Sentences should reflect the severity of the crime. People charged with arson in the uk normally receive 3-7 years. Throwing a petrol bomb is tantamount to attemted murder and should carry a suitable sentence especially if thrown at someones house in the early hours of the morning when the inhabitants are most vulnerable.
    The introduction of ASBO’s, if the psni were to enforce them properly would go some way to reducing incidents of intimidation and riotus behaviour. It’s usually the same wee spides involved anyway.

  • BogExile



    Mr Spide, if you would please stop trying to eat the court clerk, I am trying to sum up:

    You have been found guilty of the very serious offence of rioting.

    In arriving at my judgement I have taken into consideration your young age and the fact your father knows the registration of my car and where I shop.

    I am also mindful of the fact that it is clear that police officers trying to clear the street without saying ‘please’ is an act of almost unbelievable provocation. I have referred this matter to the Police Ombudsman, who will produce her 900 page report in five years time clearing everybody.

    I have given due credit to you for having a pulse and being able to walk upright. I also recognise that my holiday home in Carnlough is indeed unoccupied between September and March and would ‘go up like a bitch’ to use the colourful idiom of your defence counsel, Mr Armalite.

    In taking all these matters into consideration and also noting that you injured 30 people including your own cat, I can only recommend that:

    The jury is sentenced to 1 year in prison (suspended until we build it)

    God save the Queen and the President and other non-conformist deities!