Yob jailed for hurling sectarian abuse at republican protesters
A MAN who hurled sectarian abuse at republican protesters during an Armed Forces Day parade has been jailed for a year.
Loyalist David Bates shouted: "Scum, scum, f*** the Pope," at protesters after they booed an RAF flypast during the parade, in George Square, Glasgow, in June this year.
The parade and other events – which were taking place as part of a UK-wide celebration of the armed forces – were interrupted by a group of about 40 republican protesters.
At Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Lindsay Wood told Bates: "Such behaviour just doesn't wash in a modern, civilised society and you will have to pay the penalty for that.
"You have three previous convictions for religiously aggravated criminal acts. You clearly have bigoted views and the public needs protection from that."
Bates, of Dalmarnock, admitted breaching the peace by forming part of a disorderly crowd, shouting and swearing and making sectarian remarks in Cathedral Street, Glasgow, on 27 June.
The offence was aggravated by religious prejudice.
Prosecutor Linda McCafferty told the court that a large crowd had gathered in the centre of Glasgow to join in the Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Miss McCafferty said: "A celebration was to take place in George Square for the general public to show their appreciation for the armed forces.
"At around 12pm, the RAF conducted a flypast over the square. At that time, there were approximately 300 people of loyalist persuasion and a small crowd of around 40 republican protesters, all within the square.
"As the flypast took place, it was booed by the republican protesters and some of them needed to be held back by police officers as they tried to charge the larger group of loyalist supporters.
"A short time later, a group of around 70 loyalists, including the accused, began to make their way up Cathedral Street, where they were met with a group of the republicans.
"Police officers were instructed to attend and they observed a large group blocking off traffic. The accused was part of this group.
"He was heard shouting 'scum, scum, scum, f*** the Pope'," Miss McCafferty said.
"He was not arrested at this time due to the large numbers officers had to deal with, but was later detained after CCTV footage was recovered."
Defence lawyer Neil McShane told the court that his client had been drinking heavily on the day of the parade.
He said: "The police were aware that there was going to be a republican demonstration, but Mr Bates wasn't.
"At least 15 other people have been arrested in respect of what happened that day.
"When Mr Bates came across the republicans in Cathedral Street, due to the fact that he was under the influence of alcohol and that he was angry at the disturbance, he accepts that he acted in this manner," Mr McShane said.
Sheriff Wood backdated Bates's sentence to 17 July, when he was first remanded in custody.
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