Moment ‘Kill the Bill’ riot ringleader, 25, tried to set fire to two police vans in Bristol before telling one officer inside he was going to ‘go bang’ as he is found guilty of arson
- Ryan Roberts, 25, from Bristol, tried to set fire to police van during March protests while officers were inside
- Roberts was convicted of five offences including riot and arson with intent to endanger life
- He will be sentenced at a later date
This is the terrifying moment a ‘Kill the Bill’ ringleader tried to set fire to two police vans before telling one officer inside he was going to ‘go bang’.
During the Bristol protests on March 21 this year, Ryan Roberts, 25, played a ‘leading role’ and footage shows him holding a piece of burning cardboard under a police van.
The police van had seven officers in it as it was reversing away from rioters.
The 25-year-old was also seen trying to start a fire under the wheel arch of a police van which had an officer inside.
Yesterday, Roberts was found guilty of five offences in relation to the ‘Kill the Bill’ protests in March. He will be sentenced at a later date.
The jury were shown a 34-minute video of the offences, including CCTV, mobile phone footage and officers’ body-worn cameras.
Clad in a dark hoodie, Roberts was seen on the roof of the Bridewell Police Station leading offensive chants about police to a jeering crowd.
Ryan Roberts, 25, (pictured) was found guilty of riot, attempted arson with intent to endanger life and attempted arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered. He was also found guilty of two counts of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered
Police officers were then subject to Roberts throwing missiles at them and kicking their shields before he struck one and attacked the station.
At one point he is heard threatening the officer who is inside the van which he is trying to set on fire, suggesting his van is going to explode.
Roberts was then filmed repeatedly hitting an officer with a police baton before he damaged three police cars, one of which he tried to roll over with other people before starting a fire inside.
Roberts tried to set fire to a police van while officers were inside (pictured)
More video clips showing Roberts moving a bin alongside a police car before setting it alight and throwing items, including large metal fences at police lines were played to jurors.
Roberts, of no fixed address, was found guilty of riot, attempted arson with intent to endanger life and attempted arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.
He was also found guilty of two counts of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.
He was filmed hitting police cars, trying to set them alight and chanting inflammatory remarks
Detective Superintendent James Riccio, the senior investigating officer, said: ‘Ryan Roberts played a leading role in one of the most shameful nights in Bristol’s recent history.
‘He denied all the offences and blamed police for his actions but the footage we found of his involvement in the riot spoke for itself.
‘Not only did he repeatedly target officers physically, hitting and kicking them and throwing large objects at them, but he attempted to set fire to vehicles with officers inside.
‘The most horrifying aspect of this offending is that he wasn’t simply trying to burn the vehicles, he was knowingly endangering officers’ lives and the lives of others in the area.
‘These are officers who come to work every day to protect the public, they should never be assaulted and should never have to face threats or attempts on their lives.’
Protesters gathered outside court during the four-day proceedings at Bristol Crown Court
James Le Grys, crown advocate for CPS said: ‘Six months on, this incident remains shocking due to the levels of violence used by those who hijacked an otherwise peaceful protest.
‘Ryan Roberts was one of the main offenders and the violence he used extended to attempting to set light to an occupied police vehicle.
‘Today he’s been convicted for his part in the dreadful scenes caught on video.
‘We’ve worked closely with the Police to deliver a coordinated response and support what has been a complex investigation.
‘We respect the right to legal protest but when people resort to violence and destruction we will charge offences that reflect the gravity of the criminality.’
The disorder saw around 500 people march on Bridewell police station in March.
Protesters gathered outside court during the four-day proceedings at Bristol Crown Court.
Criminal proceedings relating to the disruption on Sunday 21 March are ongoing against other defendants.