Eighth man jailed following disorder at Knowsley Suites Hotel

An eighth man has been jailed following an initially peaceful protest which turned violent at a hotel in Knowsley in February last year.

On Thursday, 11 July, at Liverpool Crown Court, Christopher Shelley, 45, of Kirkby, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for Violent disorder. Shelley was jailed for an additional two months for failing to appear in March, when seven other men were jailed.

On Friday, 10 February 2023, a police van was set on fire and missiles were thrown at officers facilitating an initially peaceful protest which turned violent at the Suites Hotel on Ribblers Lane.

Police equipment including riot shields, helmets and metal bars were also taken from inside the van. Three officers were injured in total, with two sustaining minor injuries and one Inspector requiring hospital treatment. In total £83,686 of damage was caused by the incident.

As part of extensive investigations officers analysed over 150 pieces of body-worn video footage, 75 social media clips and four hours of drone footage to prevent any further crime and bring those responsible to justice.

Seven men were jailed in March of this year. 

Knowsley Local Policing Superintendent Karl Baldwin said, “Shelley attempted to evade justice when others were sentenced in March. However, we relentlessly pursue criminals who attempt to avoid their fate at court, so the outcome was inevitable and an extra two months jail time was added for his actions.

“The violence outside the hotel resulted in £83,686 of damage to our vehicles and facilities which could have been used to protect our residents. Officers were bombarded with various missiles and dispersal zones were put in place in the aftermath of the disorder to prevent any further incidents.

“It is completely unacceptable to intimidate and target particular communities in Knowsley in this appalling manner and those who did caused fear and distress to those residents inside the hotel and to the local community.

“We will always respect the right to protest when these are peaceful but such violence that endangered our officers and others will not be tolerated.

“In this case social media speculation, misinformation and rumour can and does cause serious violence in our community.

“Their sentencing sends a clear message of zero tolerance towards this kind of behaviour within our communities and regions across Merseyside.”

If you have any information about violence, disorder or hate crimes in your area please contact the Merseyside Police social media desk @MerPolCC on Twitter or ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook.

If, for any reason, you do not wish to report a hate crime to the police, the independent charity Stop Hate UK to run a 24/7 confidential helpline for all victims of hate crime on 0800 138 1625 or www.stophateuk.org. You can also download the Stop Hate UK reporting app on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Image: Merseyside Police/Christopher Shelley

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