‘Kill The Bill’ protestor who set fire to police van with officers still inside in £200,000 Bristol rampage is jailed for 14 years
- Ryan Roberts, 25, jailed for 14 years after setting police vehicles alight in Bristol
- He was involved in violent protests in the city after a ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration
- Roberts was filmed on camera setting a police van alight in hours after protest
- He also threw cans, bottles and placards at officers, as well as kicking them
A protester who set fire to police vehicles during a riot that caused £200,000 in criminal damage after a ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration was today jailed for 14 years.
Ryan Roberts led chants of ‘ACAB: All cops are b*******’ outside a police station in Bristol city centre on March 21 this year.
As the protest turned violent, Roberts threw cans, bottles and placards at officers, as well as verbally abusing and repeatedly kicking them.
The 25-year-old, who had taken cocaine and been drinking, then smashed the windows of the Bridewell police station on Bridwell Street.
Roberts was caught on film pushing pieces of flaming cardboard under two police vans and placing industrial bins around an already partially burnt-out police car and setting them alight.
He told an officer inside one of the vans he would ‘go bang’.
Roberts then smashed in the windows of a mobile police station and encouraged the crowd to help roll it over, before setting light to the cab while hundreds of people were close by.
Bristol Crown Court heard damage totalling over £200,000 was caused during the rioting that evening.
Giving evidence, Roberts said he got ‘carried away’ fighting for freedom of speech during a protest against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Roberts told the court the Bill aimed to ‘ban peaceful protest altogether’, saying the demo ‘was more about freedom of speech’.
He said the mood of the protest changed when police donned riot gear as night fell and officers started ‘pushing, shoving and hitting’ the crowd with shields and batons.
‘I was fighting for a cause I felt strongly about,’ Roberts said.