Boy 'hurled missiles' at police

Boy 'hurled missiles' at police

A 16-year-old boy used a rucksack full of bottles to attack police during loyalist rioting in north Belfast, the High Court has heard.

The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, was allegedly seen on CCTV hurling missiles for more than an hour during Twelfth of July disorder.

Prosecutors claimed he tried to hide his identity by wearing a hooded raincoat despite the hot, sunny weather conditions.

Refusing his application for bail, a judge ruled that he must remain in custody to ensure public protection.

The teenager, who faces a single charge of riot, was arrested after police studied footage of the trouble surrounding a banned Orange Order parade past the nationalist Ardoyne district.

Counsel for the prosecution, Fiona O'Kane, said an officer recognised him among those targeting police lines.

"He was captured throwing missiles from around 20.44 until 21.48 and seen carrying a rucksack full of bottles which he then proceeded to throw at police," she said.

Following his arrest the accused admitted his involvement and claimed to have been drunk, the court heard.

He said he had left his home near the scene of the rioting to see what was happening.

A photograph was also produced to back the prosecution case.

Mrs O'Kane revealed that his 15-year-old brother was also allegedly involved in the same disorder.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey argued that the youth should be released due to his age.

He contended that it was not necessary to keep him in the young offender's centre to protect the public.

But disagreeing with his assessment, Mr Justice McCloskey said the teenager was alleged to have taken part in the rioting "enthusiastically".

The judge added: "It's crystal clear from the prosecution summary and from this very disturbing photograph that his criminality was the product of careful and protracted advanced planning.

"I'm in no doubt whatsoever that it's necessary to remand this applicant in custody in order to protect the public."


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