A teenager convicted of sectarian rioting at a north Belfast flashpoint has been ordered to complete 240 hours community service.

Michael Lavery admitted throwing stones during disturbances at the interface between Brompton Park and Twaddell Avenue in August 2008.

The 19-year-old, from the city, said he only hurled some missiles at Protestants to help his friend, Belfast Magistrates Court heard.

His solicitor, Michael Madden said his client was training to be a joiner.

Passing sentence, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said: “This is riotous behaviour. He was throwing items and there was a sectarian overtone to it.

“I have to see it therefore in the upper limit of the scale.”

After the community service order was imposed, Mr Madden expressed concern about how Lavery’s epilepsy may impact on the sentence.

However, Mrs Bagnall said: “If he is able to go out and throw stones and do a joinery course he is able to do community service.”