Carrick riot accused in protest ban

Published Thursday, 06 December 2012
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A woman accused of rioting in Carrickfergus following a protest over restricting flying the Union flag has been banned from going near further loyalist protests.

Carrick riot accused in protest ban
There was a heavy police presence as disorder broke out in Carrickfergus. (© UTV)

Laura Nicholl, 20, from Unity Street was among three people arrested during trouble in the Co Antrim town on Wednesday night.

The order banning the woman from going within 500m of any further flag protests was imposed as part of bail conditions granted.

Violence erupted after demonstrations against the decision to only fly the Union flag at Belfast City Council on designated days.

Alliance Party offices were attacked as part of the wider disturbances.

Nicholl faces three charges of riotous behaviour at North Road, Carrickfergus, assaulting a female police officer and resisting arrest.

As she appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court a PSNI constable said she could connect her with the alleged offences.

Bail was opposed due to concerns about potential re-offending. The officer claimed Nicholl had suggested during interview that she intended to attend another protest tonight in the Rathcoole area.

But defence solicitor Sarah McKeown argued that her client had been only joking.

"She indicated she was not going to be anywhere near Rathcoole," the lawyer told the court.

"I believe she sarcastically said 'Oh yes I will be at that.'"

Ms McKeown added that Nicholl was only on the fringes of what was going on.

"It was accepted by police that she was by no means one of the main movers," she stressed.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted bail on condition that the accused abides by a curfew and stays away from further demonstrations.

Nicholl is due to appear again before the court in six weeks time.

© UTV News
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7 Comments
fact in bangor wrote (592 days ago):
the judges have been told not to put offenders in jail unless its a real serious crime, that is why so many out on bail,fact.
paddy in ardoyne wrote (593 days ago):
why do my comments not be posted do the people who judge them are vetted.
Taz in Lisburn wrote (593 days ago):
Good on ya Laura! Nothing illegal about protesting. Remember we live in a so called democracy...haha!
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (593 days ago):
Conair I agree that those involved im riotous disturbances should be held without bail Having said that ! I find it more unacceptable that murderers and bombers were released from prison. So tell me which you find more rediculous ?
kevin in belfast wrote (593 days ago):
absolute joke that there out on bail while other futher trouble has been planned for different days & dates..If this was someone from ardoyne arrested over parade/trouble etc they would have been remanded in jail.
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