A RIOTER who made headlines for refusing to stand for a magistrate says that he “forgives” police. (source)
Mohammed Issai Issaka was yesterday sentenced to 12 months in jail with a non-parole period of six months after being found guilty on a charge of rioting in Hyde Park last September.
He said he forgives police and was released on bail after lodging an appeal.
Mr Issaka has consistently insisted he did nothing wrong on the day of the riots and pleaded not guilty – a fact that Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge yesterday said was “disappointing”.
Ms Milledge – for whom Issaka refused to stand during a previous appearance but later tearfully apologised – noted that while Issaka was a man of “otherwise impeccable character” his “lack of contrition” for his actions gave her concern.
“I can’t look at you as someone who has learnt from this event and would not revisit it,” Ms Milledge said.
“You said you didn’t do these things … (yet) we have hours of vision of you being angry and being in the face of the police officers.
“It was civil disobedience at its worst.”
Ms Milledge said Issaka was “frontline” throughout the riots as an inflaming presence – even causing distress to other peaceful protesters.
“They were trying to bring about calm and you weren’t to be calmed,” she said. “You weren’t just someone who was there to demonstrate.”
His appeal will be mentioned in Downing Centre District Court on January 15.