Teen snorted drugs and threw firework at cops in refugee hotel protest

Teenager, 19, who snorted ketamine in front of riot police and threw fireworks at officers during protest outside asylum seeker hotel is locked up for three years

  • Jared Skeete, 19, took part in the disorder outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley 
  • He was filmed snorting drugs and calling police officers a ‘gang of d***heads?
  • Skete was sentenced at court today after pleading guilty to violent disorder

A teenager who snorted ketamine before hurling a lit firework at riot police during a protest at an asylum seeker hotel has been locked up for three years.

Jared Skeete, 19, ‘goaded’ officers by ‘deliberately’ taking drugs before shouting abuse at them during the mayhem in Knowsley, Merseyside.

Body-worn video footage captured the chaos at the Suites Hotel on February 10, with Skeete being filmed standing next to a burnt-out police van launching numerous fireworks at cops.   

Skeete’s defence lawyer said the yob had become ‘caught up’ in the ‘mob mentality’ of the night, which saw more than 100 protesters causing carnage.

Skeete appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday where he was sentenced to three years’ detention after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

A police van was set alight in Merseyside after protests outside a hotel housing asylum seekers turned violent. Pictured are riot police in front of the blazing van

Police detained at least three people following the violent scenes outside the hotel – including Jared Skeete (pictured), who ‘goaded’ officers by ‘deliberately’ taking drugs before shouting and throwing fireworks at officers, a court heard

On Monday at Liverpool Crown Court, Skeete (pictured) was sentenced to three years’ detention after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Sentencing the bushy-haired teen Judge David Swinnerton said: ‘The scenes overall were appalling and shameful.

‘Your role in it, there at the forefront, very close to the police line, throwing fireworks to them, hurling abuse at them, seeking to remove a shield from an officer therefore exposing him to violence and injury, wrestling with him for his riot shield, all of that is despicable behaviour.

‘Those scenes of what you did bring shame on you. They were shameful for the city… That is not who we are.

‘You goaded the police, you sniffed from your bag of ketamine deliberately in front of them and you were, throughout, shouting abuse at them.’

Prosecutor Martyn Walsh said Skeete, from Aigburth, in Liverpool, shouted to police: ‘Why are you protecting the scumbags, you big gang of d***heads?’.’

Skeete was also reported to have said to an officer: ‘What are you going to do you silly little sausage? Go and do something better lad, go and arrest them nonces.’

When arrested and interviewed Skeete denied being the person shown in the footage but then asked if he could have a copy of it for himself, describing it as ‘like a movie’ and ‘brutal’, the court heard.

In a statement, PC John Thompson, who was hit on his arm and foot by objects, said he had suffered bruising and swelling and the incident had caused stress to him and his family. 

A police van was destroyed amid the riot outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley, with more than 100 protesters reportedly taking part in the carnage in February 

The protests were sparked by misinformation which had been shared on social media, it has been clamed. It saw a police van being torched and fireworks hurled at officers 

Standing strong: a line of riot police are pictured as a fire rages behind them during the mayhem in Knowsley, Merseyside

Inspector Ian Murphy had suffered post concussion syndrome following the disorder, the court heard.

Mr Walsh said £83,684 worth of damage was caused to five police vehicles, including the van which was burnt-out.

Peter White, defending, said Skeete had been socialising with friends on February 10 when he been made aware of social media rumours which incorrectly accused a resident of the hotel of a serious offence.

He said: ‘He is a young man aged 19 who allowed himself to be caught up in mob mentality and used this as an opportunity to act in a thoroughly unacceptable manner.’

He said Skeete was not part of any right-wing organisation and was not involved in planning the disorder.

He added: ‘He was only there for the anarchy that resulted.’

Mr White said: ‘He genuinely wishes to apologise for his actions.’

The prosecution did not continue with a charge of assaulting an emergency worker because it was incorporated into the violent disorder charge, the court was told.

Speaking after Skeete was sentenced, Detective Chief Inspector John Fitzgerald said: ‘The appalling scenes of that evening were completely reprehensible and Skeete clearly played a role in the disorder. 

Merseyside’s Police & Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell condemned the ‘shocking and concerning’ violence outside the Suites Hotel

The incident happened outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley. Detective Chief Inspector John Fitzgerald said: ‘The appalling scenes of that evening were completely reprehensible and Skeete clearly played a role in the disorder’

Protesters and counter protesters have clashed outside a Merseyside Hotel housing asylum seekers 

‘We welcome the sentencing today and hope that he spends his time in prison reflecting on his dangerous actions on that night. 

‘We will always respect the right to protest when these are peaceful, but the scenes outside the Suites Hotel were completely unacceptable, putting those present, our officers and the wider community in danger.

‘I hope this sentencing makes it absolutely clear that anyone who plays a part in violent disorder on our streets will be brought before the courts, whatever their role may have been.’

The carnage was widely condemned by senior politicians and officials. 

Knowsley MP Sir George Howarth said the violence did not represent the community. 

‘The people of Knowsley are not bigots and are welcoming to people escaping from some of the most dangerous places in the world in search of a place of safety,’ he added.

Merseyside’s Police & Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell condemned the ‘shocking and concerning’ violence outside the hotel, saying there was ‘no excuse for it’.

She said on Twitter: ‘Deeply shocking and concerning scenes of violence in Knowsley this evening. Utterly unacceptable behaviour, putting officers & public in danger.

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