Bail for 15 year-old charged with pensioner attack

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AN elderly couple were beaten by youths they challenged over racing mopeds through their neighbourhood, the High Court heard today.

At least one victim was kicked and punched on the ground, suffering broken bones during the attack in Derry.

A 15-year-old boy faces charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm and common assault over the incident.

The youth, who has been expelled from school and cannot be named, is separately accused of burgling a woman’s home in the city a month earlier.

A judge was told how he also scaled a ten foot fence to escape from police as he was being brought to court on another occasion.

Details were disclosed as prosecutors sought to block his attempt to be released again on bail.

The youth was returned to custody for allegedly allowing himself to be carried on the back of a moped taken without the owner’s consent earlier this month.

It was claimed that he travelled through the city’s Carnhill estate, an area he was excluding from entering.

During the hearing prosecution barrister Philip Henry alleged that the teenager was involved in the attack on two pensioners in the Racecourse Road area last June.

“Young persons were racing around on scooters, some of the residents challenged them and it ended up with the elderly residents being assaulted,” he told the court.

“They were surrounded by young men, including the applicant, and quite seriously assaulted.

“There was kicking and punching on the ground, broken bones, nasty injuries were caused.”

A defence barrister accepted her client has ignored previous bail terms, and at one stage fled from the steps of the courthouse.

But she claimed he was now taking responsibility and realised his actions have consequences.

Mr Justice Weatherup was told the teenager has now secured a place in alternative education after being excluded from school last June.

The judge identified the alleged attack on the pensioners complaining about anti-social behaviour as the most serious incident.

“Whoever was responsible it’s quite outrageous they set upon residents who complained about them being a nuisance,” he said.

But taking account of the accused’s age, he decided to grant bail again on a four-week trial period.

Mr Justice Weatherup ordered him to take up his education placement immediately, report daily to police and imposed curfew and electronic tagging conditions.

The youth was also banned from going within 100 metres of victims’ homes.