Student Rioter Allowed to Complete His Degree

Patrick Besiris, 21, was among 200 rioters who attacked police during a violent protest against a new supermarket in Bristol on the day of the Royal Wedding last year.

But despite being charged with violent disorder, he was allowed to complete his politics degree at the University of the West of England (UWE) and has since graduated with a First Class BA Honours.

Today he was sentenced to 14-months in prison for his “disgraceful” actions during the riot and may now have his degree withheld. Trouble flared in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol in April last year when supermarket giant Tesco opened a new store in the area, despite local opposition.

More than 200 people attended a planned protest and CCTV footage showed Besiris wearing a mask and throwing missiles towards the police.

During the investigation of riot, officers examined many hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and appealed for the public's help to identify suspects. Detective Chief Inspector Will White, who led the investigations, sent out the warning that anyone with plans to bring disorder to the city in the future can expect to be dealt with in the same fashion.

Benjamin Cyster, 18, from Bristol, was sentenced to seven and a half years having been convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent following an incident in which a concrete breeze block was dropped on a police officer from a building. Many others were also given prison sentences.


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