Seven men jailed for their part in a riot outside an asylum seekers hotel in Kirkby

ITV Correspondent Tim Scott explains what led to the violent disorder that broke out on 10 February 2023.

Seven men have been jailed for their part in a riot outside a hotel in Merseyside, which was housing asylum seekers.

An eighth man was given a suspended sentence.

Disorder broke out in Kirkby on 10 February 2023 when around 300 people gathered outside the gates of the Suites Hotel.

Credit: ITV News

A police van was set on fire and missiles were thrown at officers facilitating an initially peaceful protest which turned violent at the Suites Hotel on Ribblers Lane.

Police equipment including riot shields, helmets and metal bars were also taken from inside the van.

Three officers were injured, with two sustaining minor injuries and one Inspector requiring hospital treatment.

As part of extensive investigations officers analysed over 150 pieces of body worn video footage, 75 social media clips and four hours of drone footage to prevent any further crime and bring those responsible to justice.

A police van was burnt out Credit: ITV Granada

At Liverpool Crown Court on Monday 18 March 2024, seven men were jailed for a total of over 18 years.

  • Brian McPadden, 61, of Britonside Avenue, Southdene, Kirkby was sentenced to 42 months for violent disorder.

  • John Tippler, 59, of St Kevins Drive, Northwood, Kirkby was sentenced to 24 months for violent disorder.

  • Liam Jones, 25 of Birkin Close, Southdene, Kirkby was sentenced to 27 months for violent disorder.

  • Paul Lafferty, 42, of Quarry Green, Northwood, Kirkby, was sentenced to 32 months for violent disorder.

  • Warren Cullen, 21, of James Holt Avenue, Westvale, Kirkby, was sentenced to 20 months for violent disorder and possession of a criminal drug.

  • Thomas Mills, 47, of Park Brow Drive, Southdene, Kirkby, was sentenced to 32 months for violent disorder.

  • Jonjo O’Donoghue, aged 21, of Irwell Close, Liverpool. O’Donoghue was sentenced to 42 months for violent disorder.

Top, L-R: Thomas Mills, Warren Cullen, Paul Lafferty, Brian McPadden. Bottom, L-R: Jonjo O'Donoghue, John Tippler, Liam Thomas Credit: Merseyside Police

The judge at Liverpool Crown Court said what happened brought shame on the whole of Merseyside.

Speaking to ITV News at the time, one of the asylum seekers staying at the hotel said they were scared: "they were yelling and screaming, yes we were frightened, especially when they tried to break the fence, maybe they could set the whole hotel on fire"

More than 80 thousand pounds worth of damage was caused to the hotel.

Detective Chief Inspector John Fitzgerald said: "Merseyside Police officers had fireworks fired at them from close range, bottles bricks and paving slabs were thrown at them, but they remained professional and calm and restored order"

The disturbance started after an allegation was made that an asylum seeker at the hotel had sexually assaulted a local girl, but from Merseyside Police says no further action was taken after a thorough investigation.

Big Help Project is a Liverpool-based poverty charity, who responded to the sentencing

"The way that residents at the Suites Hotel were treated, both at the time of the incident last year and in its aftermath, is abhorrent.

"We hope that this sentencing can finally draw a line under such a disgraceful incident, allowing the surrounding communities to live in peace and charities to provide help where needed without obstacles."

Today's sentences mean 17 people have now been convicted in relation to last year's incident.