Four people have been sentenced at Bristol Crown Court today (Friday 12 May) for their role in the Bristol riot, including one man who tried to set fire to a police vehicle while officers were inside and another who helped set a mobile police station ablaze.
Two were given immediate jail terms, bringing the total number of people sent straight to prison for offences committed during the riot outside Bridewell police station in spring 2021 to 34. Together, they have been jailed for a combined total of 109 years and four months.
The following defendants were sentenced earlier today:
- Rokas Barisauskas, 21, of Manchester – admitted charges of riot and arson and jailed for six years.
- Daniel Ellis, 27, of Hartcliffe, Bristol – admitted charges of riot and arson and jailed for four years and six months.
- Carmen Fitchett, 24, of St Andrew’s, Bristol – admitted a charge of affray and was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. She will also be subject to a curfew between 5pm and 5am for two months and will have to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
- Leah Brenchley, 22, of Fishponds, Bristol – admitted charges of assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage and was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for nine months. She will also be subject to a curfew between 5pm and 5am for two months and undergo 15 days of rehabilitation.
During the riot, Rokus Barisauskas kicked and poured drinks over officers, posing for selfies with some while calling them offensive names.
He attacked a mobile police station with a shield, causing damage to the windscreen, as well as two other police vehicles while officers were inside. At the peak of the violence, he tried to set a van alight, also while officers were inside.
Daniel Ellis was caught on camera kicking out at officers, and using a police shield to ram into them. He was described as a ‘catalyst’ for the disorder and helped to set fire to a mobile police station, which was destroyed.
Carmen Fitchett was abusive to officers, became involved in scuffles and threw objects at Bridewell police station, while Leah Brenchley pushed and barged into officers and daubed graffiti over bus shelters, bins and a police vehicle.
Det Supt James Riccio said: “The fact the courts have now given out prison sentences amounting to more than 100 years shows the gravity of offences committed on that shameful evening. To say the riot is a stain on the history of Bristol is no understatement.
“The actions of the minority who engaged in the violence were wholly unacceptable. Our communities do not want to see wanton disorder on the streets, so it’s right those who freely chose to act in this way now face the consequences of their actions.
“Rokas Barisauskas and Daniel Ellis were involved in some of the most serious violence which occurred on the night, and both used what’s previously been described as the ‘uncontrollable weapon of fire’ to cause maximum damage. The fact Barisauskas was willing to try and set a vehicle ablaze while people were inside beggars’ belief.”
We’d like to remind all concerned that criminal proceedings relating to the events of Sunday 21 March 2021 are ongoing against other defendants and that they have a right to a fair trial.
It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.