The Ulster Unionist Party’s East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has called for the Police and the Public Prosecution Service to ensure that Gerry Kelly is subjected to the same rigours of the law as he sought for all other citizens when he obstructed a police land rover in a dangerous situation.
Roy Beggs said, “What would happen if you or I obstructed the passage of a police vehicle? What would happen if a flag protestor obstructed the passage of a police vehicle? Earlier this year Gerry Kelly was reported as saying that the Chief Constable Matt Baggott had “lost the plot”. (see note1 below). Gerry Kelly lost the plot when he obstructed the passage of a police vehicle and he should be subject to the full rigours of the law”. (see note 2 below)
“There is a particular requirement for community representatives to act responsibly in tense situations where riot police have been deployed and when violent behaviour has occurred.
‘In choosing to obstruct a police vehicle when an arrest had occurred, Gerry Kelly allowed the crowd to intimidate and attack the police vehicle. This could have caused the situation to escalate. We are extremely fortunate that no one was severely injured as a result of Mr Kelly’s actions in obstructing the path of a police vehicle. He should be accountable to the law for his irresponsible behaviour. Sinn Fein has to understand that they cannot pick and choose when the law applies”
Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998
66Assaults on, and obstruction of, constables, etc.
(1)Any person who assaults, resists, obstructs or impedes a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable—
(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;
(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine, or to both.