Rioters 'put police at risk' - judge

Published Wednesday, 31 July 2013
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Twelfth of July rioters put the lives of hundreds of police officers at risk of injury or death, a High Court judge has said.

Rioters 'put police at risk' - judge
PSNI officers on the Woodvale Road on the Twelfth night. (© Presseye)

Mr Justice McCloskey stressed that officers drafted in from other forces could also have been exposed to injury or death, along with thousands of law-abiding citizens.

His assessment came after being told how a man travelled from his Co Down home to allegedly spend days at the scene of disorder surrounding an Orange Order parade in north Belfast.

Gary Hindes, 23, of Magheraconluce Road, Hillsborough, faces a charge of riot in the Woodvale Road area on 12 July.

He was identified on CCTV footage by police after appearing in court charged separately with disorderly behaviour the following day.

It means exposing hundreds of police officers, not only local officers but those who are drafted in from other jurisdictions, to the risk of serious personal injury or death.

Judge Justice McCloskey

A prosecution barrister said Hindes was spotted at the front of a crowd attacking police officers enforcing a ban on Orangemen parading through the Ardoyne area on the Twelfth.

"He was seen on CCTV kicking at a police land rover and also throwing bottles at police lines," the lawyer said.

"He was centrally involved at the very front of the crowd."

During a bail hearing it was set out how Hindes, who is originally from the Twadell Avenue area of north Belfast, returned to visit friends on 10 July.

He spent the next few days drinking heavily and has no recollection of what happened, the judge was told.

Defence counsel Jonathan Connolly said his client admitted his actions after being shown the footage.

"I understand from my solicitor he was extremely tearful and apologetic in interview, as so he should be, and accepting of his behaviour even though he couldn't remember at the time," he said.

The bail application was adjourned until Friday for an update to be given on prosecution of the case and more information on Hindes' employment history.

Mr Justice McCloskey stressed that Hindes still faces "substantial hurdles" to being released.

The judge pointed out how trouble had flared in the same location for years.

"Public disorder means the following - it means exposing thousands of law-abiding citizens to the risk of personal injury or death," he said.

"It's public knowledge that there was a substantial number of police officers injured during the rioting in which the applicant, according to the prosecution evidence and his own acceptance, participated actively and forcefully and enthusiastically."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
14 Comments
Eamo in Belfast wrote (483 days ago):
To Deeko not sure of your percentage there. Please try harder to calculate.
realistic in planet earth wrote (483 days ago):
@Deeko in Belfast UK wrote (2 days ago): " we consider ourselves British in this part of the United Kingdom"...........very good deeko, do you ever wonder how the rest of the uk considers you???? ..........:)
Tony in Belfast wrote (484 days ago):
deeko. I presume mathematics is not your area of expertise!!!! the last census showed 48% of the population here as protestant and 46% Catholic by the next census there will be a Catholic majority!!! at least you have 8 years to swot up on your maths.
east belfast in belfast NORTHERN IRELAND ! wrote (485 days ago):
how many nationalists where arrested from the short strand after photos and footage where shown to the police after flag protest was attacked ? how many arrests have been made from the nationalist short strand after the 12th parade was attacked ? the answer is 0 because the police dont enter the place as there to afraid of offending the aggresors !!
Pauline in Belfast wrote (485 days ago):
Pauline in Belfast I really have to try and get my head round all of this, yes it is by all means wrong to attack the police but i have yet to her as much criticism coming from the judges the police and the parades commission about the nationalists when shots were fired at them and a breeze block that was dropped on top of a police woman's head . There again one rule for one and another for another it needs to be equal .
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