A Sydney man will serve six months in jail for his role in a violent Muslim protest after a court rejected his appeal.
Mohammed Issai Issaka, 44, was sentenced to a minimum of six months’ jail in November but launched an appeal an hour later and was granted bail.
District Court Chief Judge Reg Blanch dismissed Issaka’s appeal against the sentence’s severity, despite the man saying he was now “very, very sorry” for his actions and would avoid attending protests.
He will be eligible for parole on September 30.
The father of eight claims he suffered a fractured jaw, a chipped tooth and injuries from police batons in the riot, but has forgiven police.
He had pleaded not guilty to rioting and resisting arrest in the September 2012 protest in Sydney’s city centre.
About 500 people took to the CBD on that day to rally against a controversial anti-Islam film produced in the US.
The rally turned violent with police arresting a number of protesters and calling in the riot squad.
Issaka told the court he had reflected on his actions since pleading not guilty and was now sorry.
He asked for leniency given he was his family’s sole breadwinner.
“I pondered on what I have done and I changed my mind,” he said.
“I am very, very sorry and remorseful for what I have done.
“Since that day in the protest, I haven’t attended any protests and I am not thinking of attending any.”
Justice Blanch said he accepted that Issaka, who was involved in charity work in his community, was “otherwise a decent person” and a good father and husband.
But he warned that people involved in rioting must understand there would be “serious consequences” to their actions.
He said Issaka was entitled to feel strongly about the film.
“But joining a protest is one thing and participating in a riot is something entirely different,” the judge said.
Justice Blanch also noted that Issaka assaulted a police officer as he was being arrested.
“Police are entitled to go about their business without fear of being assaulted in the course of their normal duties,” he told the court.