Canada
City repeatedly renewed rioterís busking licence

Matthew Lennox, 24 leaving the Provincial Court in Vancouver, British Columbia

Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY

TYLER ORTON | QMI AGENCY

VANCOUVER -- A guitarist who makes his living playing music in the same city where he rioted following the Canucks' Game 7 Stanley Cup final loss has pleaded guilty to participating in the June 2011 mayhem.

Matthew Lennox was originally scheduled to go to trial in May on charges of participating in a riot and break-and-enter, but the street musician's lawyer entered a guilty plea on his behalf Thursday.

Lennox, 25, whose busking licence has been renewed repeatedly by the city since the riot, told QMI Agency his involvement during that destructive evening was minimal - lasting about 10 minutes - and he was drawn to the events only out of curiosity.

"I did not loot. I did not fight. I did not break. I did not steal. I did not take any action against my fellow man directly," he said.

"When you measure that against what I've done for the city, I think it's pretty clear that I'm a boon and not a destructive force."

The guitarist added he's lost gigs and was heckled at shows after his picture was published by QMI Agency in 2011. He eventually left town for a month to avoid the public eye.

Scott Edwards, Vancouver's manager of street activities, said the city doesn't conduct background checks on buskers.

"Anyone who wishes to come in, as long as we haven't had any previous issues or altercations where they've broken the rules or regulations around busking, then we will issue them another permit."

Lennox was previously banned from certain parts of Vancouver following the riot before his lawyer was able to adjust the restrictions so he could continue performing.

He next appears in court in May for a pre-sentence report.

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