Riot 'was disgraceful' said accused

Riot 'was disgraceful' said accused

A man accused of attacking police with bricks during rioting which followed a flag protest in east Belfast on Thursday night described the violence as "disgraceful behaviour", a court has heard.

Christopher Shires, 23 and from Beechfield Street in the city, is charged with riotous assembly.

Ten police officers were injured amid the disorder, during which petrol bombs and other missiles were hurled at PSNI officers as they tried to restore order.

The disturbances, involving more than 100 people, centred on the Albertbridge Road, Castlereagh Street and Mountpottinger Street areas.

Shires appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on Friday morning, claiming he only went to the scene for a peaceful protest.

His solicitor told the court that other people had hijacked a lawful demonstration.

But a detective constable opposed bail.

"It's our understanding that more protests are in the pipeline," he said.

"The defendant was observed by police throwing bricks at police vehicles and police officers. He was identified, pursued and arrested."

District Judge Fiona Bagnall refused bail, but rejected suggestions that the accused could be kept out of the area and placed under curfew.

Shires was remanded in custody to appear again via video link next month.


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