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Vancouver Stanley Cup rioter gets eight-month sentence

A riot officer watches as two police cars burn during a riot in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, June 15, 2011 following the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Stanley Cup final

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

A Stanley Cup rioter whom a provincial court judge called "the most serious of any case heard so far" has been sentenced to eight months in jail.

Vasilios George Makris, 29, pleaded guilty to participating in a riot and assaulting another person in the June 15, 2011, Stanley Cup riot in downtown Vancouver.

Mr. Makris, who was born in Victoria and has lived in the Vancouver area for more than a decade, said he believed he drank more than a dozen beers and 14 ounces of vodka on the night of the riot, which tore through the downtown core and caused about $4-million in damage.

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According to evidence laid out in B.C. Provincial Court Justice William Kitchen's written decision, Mr. Makris's participation that night included breaking into a store, kicking items into two car fires, filming the destruction of the car and fighting a Good Samaritan.

Shortly after being captured on video "sitting in an alcove of the Canada Post building, drinking and pouring beer into his eyes," according to the document, Mr. Makris was interviewed by a news reporter who asked him what he thought of the police action. His reply: "Bring it on."

Mr. Makris, who was present throughout the four-hour riot, was confrontational with police and refused to leave the area.

"In looking at comparator cases, and now there are many, it is apparent that Makris' involvement in the Stanley Cup Riot was the most serious of any case heard so far," Justice Kitchen wrote.

"It is difficult to imagine how any rioter could have been more involved in the mayhem, short of committing much more serious substantive criminal offences such as offences of grievous bodily harm."

Justice Kitchen said he was mindful of Mr. Makris's remorse, guilty plea and "general good record of responsibility as a citizen for many years."

He also took into consideration that Mr. Makris does not abuse drugs or alcohol, is not dangerous to the public and has a lengthy history of volunteer work that includes teaching information technology for a United Nations organization in Afghanistan. But, "the principles of denunciation and general deterrence must prevail over all other concerns," Justice Kitchen wrote.

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News reporter

Based in Vancouver, Andrea Woo is a general assignment reporter with a focus on multimedia journalism. More

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