Curfews imposed on gang behind Edinburgh’s Bonfire Night mayhem

One of the cars torched last year
One of the cars torched last year
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FIVE members of a mob which terrorised neighbourhoods last Bonfire Night have been handed overnight curfews.

Residents cowered in their homes as cars were torched and emergency workers attacked by up to 50 youths with fireworks and rocks in Restalrig and Craigentinny.

Lewis Park, 20, 19-year-olds Liam Willis and Dylan McArdle and Connor Murray and Dylan Martins, both 18, were yesterday placed on Restriction of Liberty Orders for six months.

For about three hours on the night of November 5, gangs of youths caused more than £40,000 of damage by throwing fireworks at each other, passers-by, property and cars.

Three vehicles were burned out, one of them being put onto a bonfire.

When police and firefighters were called in, fireworks and rocks were thrown at them and they had to withdraw for their own safety. Residents were afraid to leave their homes.

All five of the men, who all lived in the area at the time, were sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

They pled guilty at an earlier hearing to being part of the mob, causing fear and alarm and concern for the safety of local residents, police officers and emergency service personnel.

Defence solicitors appearing for the five, told Sheriff Frank Crowe that their clients now appreciated that the events of that evening must have been a frightening experience for those living there.

The five, they said, accepted their conduct had shocked the community and was a serious matter. None, however, had been in trouble since then.

Sheriff Crowe told the youths that what happened on that night had attracted a lot of comment at the time and, more recently, in view of the forthcoming Guy Fawkes’ Night celebrations. Their actions, he added, bore no relation to Guy Fawkes’ Night.

Park was confined to his home between 7pm to 7am, Martins from 9pm to 8am, Willis from 8pm to 7am, McArdle from 7.30pm to 7am and Murray from 7pm to 7am.

Sheriff Crowe told them: “Making sure you are not out and about, causing trouble on the streets.”

The commander of a massive policing operation to prevent any repeat this weekend and on Monday, Chief Inspector David Robertson, said the five “played a significant role” in last year’s disorder.

“I hope that this brings some reassurance to the communities which suffered such mindless behaviour and damage and stood together to help us gather the evidence to identify and convict those responsible,” he added.

Tory Councillor for Craigentinny, John McLellan, said: “I’m glad sentences have been passed before this year’s Bonfire Night because it’s important to send a signal that the trouble experienced by the community last year will not be tolerated.

“These people caused considerable fear and alarm so it is essential these orders are properly imposed if they are to be meaningful, and anyone breaching them be brought straight back to court to face more serious consequences.”

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk