Pensioner cleared of Twaddell tea attack

Published Thursday, 10 April 2014
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A pensioner has been acquitted of assaulting a policewoman by throwing a cup of tea over her near a loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.

Pensioner cleared of Twaddell tea attack
Loyalists are protesting at the interface over a Parades Commission ruling. (© Presseye)

However, Agnes Redford was convicted of disorderly behaviour during the same incident last December.

The 63-year-old, who helps serve refreshments for Orangemen campaigning to complete a contentious parade past the Ardoyne district, received a 12-month conditional discharge.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard she had been standing at Twaddell Avenue roundabout with other women when a motorist drove past and shouted sectarian abuse.

CCTV footage appeared to show her then step forward while holding a white polystyrene cup and waving a red white and blue scarf complete with an image of Queen Elizabeth II.

It was claimed that she could be heard shouting back to the motorist: "Kiss that."

A police sergeant told the court she intervened at that stage and tried to usher Redford back onto the traffic island.

She said: "The next thing I had tea running all down my face, and all down the front of my body armour.

"I said to her 'You have just thrown tea around me' and she said 'What the f*** are you going to do about it?'

"I said 'I'm going to arrest you'."

Redford, of Altnacreeva Avenue, Belfast, was detained and subsequently charged with assault on police and disorderly behaviour.

Her case was that any spillage occurred accidentally after she had her arm grabbed.

Giving evidence she told how she has been involved in making tea and sandwiches at the camp set up for Orangemen protesting over being banned from completing a Twelfth of July march last summer.

She claimed that as she was standing on the traffic island on 7 December a female motorist drove past and called her an "Orange bitch" and a "whore".

Redford continued: "She said get that scarf off your neck or I'll wring you with it."

According to her account she stepped onto the road after being threatened, only for the officer to push her back.

Questioned by defence lawyer John Greer, Redford denied throwing tea over the policewoman.

She told the judge: "When you come up against the Crown you be truthful, you be honest.

"If you have done a thing you admit you have done it and I haven't done it, your worship.

"The cup was not even a quarter full at the time," she added.

After hearing all the evidence Deputy District Judge Joseph McCrisken dismissed the assault charge but convicted on the disorderly behaviour count.

Redford may now appeal that conviction.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
11 Comments
Tom in Belfast wrote (196 days ago):
I despair.
lucylou in belfast wrote (196 days ago):
Where is Altnacreeva Avenue? Maybe this lady should stay at home along with all the others who don't live in the area. Maybe there she won't come across drive by foul mouthed females shouting abuse and everyone will be happier. The 'Peace camp' lot ; the orange order;the agitators who won't tolerate a small number of people walking up a main road for 5 minutes are ALL a pain in the butt. They all need to shut up and learn a bit of tolerance. As for the pathetic excuses that pass for politicians [with the exception of N Long and our Lord Mayor] we really are stuck in a time warp. The woman in this article and the one who shouted at her are examples of all that's wrong with this place and are a total embarrassment to the many many decent people from both communities here. It's because of the likes of them and the people they vote into power that we still talk in terms of two communities.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (197 days ago):
63 year old woman. Certainly no lady, should have known better than to behave like that.
Disgusted in Belfast wrote (197 days ago):
Seems to be a lot of loyalists getting realistic sentences not like way over the top as in recent times,do they think this is evening things up for the otr's and the ira gun running.it wont wash many loyalist lives have been ruined and wont be forgot about...
al in belfast wrote (197 days ago):
what about the girl shouting sectarian abuse ??????
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