The building in which the party was held on Saturday night.
The building in which the party was held on Saturday night.

Rioters danced on car: court told

RIOTERS who burnt a police car and pelted another with concrete pavers, rocks and bottles were videoed dancing on the roof of the police car and doing belly flops onto the bonnet before it was torched.

In bail court hearings in Grafton Court yesterday, four men and a juvenile, who police claim were active participants in the riot in Deering Street, Yamba, in the early hours of Sunday morning, were refused bail.

The host of the party and the man police allege was the instigator of the riot, Craig Jeremy McNeil, 50, faced five charges: incitement to assault police, rioting, maliciously damaging property by fire, escaping policy custody and maliciously destroying property.

Two of the men, Robert Douglas Harvey and Douglas Pearce, pleaded not guilty to charges of incitement to assault police, rioting, maliciously damaging property by fire and maliciously destroying property. After their bail was refused they pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Glen Leigh Ayres was charged with incitement to assault police, rioting, maliciously damaging property by fire, aiding a person to escape policy custody and maliciously destroying property. He did not apply for bail.

Ayres and McNeil have not entered pleas. A 17-year-old Maclean girl was refused bail for her part in the riot.

Magistrate Michael Dakin read out the police account of the riot, which began when police attended a party after complaints about loud music being played.

The first police warning was ignored and when police arrived a second time, McNeil approached them and told them they had no right to be there.

The court was told McNeil flatly refused to obey a police instruction to turn down the loud music and then began inciting the party goers to attack police.

It was alleged he placed a bucket near a police car, then told police they had 10 seconds to leave before they began playing ‘throw the brick into the bucket’.

McNeil is alleged to have thrown the first object – a concrete paver – onto the windscreen of the police car. Police arrested him and placed him in the rear of a police vehicle. The vehicle was then bombarded and police had to retire to safety.

During this time, the court heard, they videoed the rioters dancing on the police car roof and diving onto the bonnet.

Police say some of the rioters released McNeil during the melee then gathered around the vehicle and set it alight.

All four men and the juvenile have been remanded in custody to appear in Grafton Local Court on March 29.



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