Teen rioters used to ‘do dirty work’

editorial image
0
Have your say

A local judge has said that children accused of being involved in ritoing at the weekend are being used “to do the dirty work” of “certain people”.

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as six teenagers appeared at Derry Magistrates Court charged with riotous behaviour.

The public gallery of the court was cleared for the hearings and each of the teens were dealt with separately by the judge.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court he believed he could connect each of the defendants to the charges .

He said police would oppose bail for fear of further offences being committed but added that none of the teenagers before the court had a criminal record.

The first defendant to appear was a 15-year-old boy, who the court was told has special needs.

He is charged with riotous behaviour, possession of a petrol bomb and aiding and abetting possession of a petrol bomb on August 11.

The offences were allegedly committed in the Nailors Row area of the city following the annual Apprentice Boys parade.

The next defendant was a 14-year-old boy charged with riotous behaviour and attempted criminal damage of a police landrover.

The court heard allegations that the teen was captured on police video wearing a green, white and orange scarf round his face in the Nailors Row area.

The officer said during interview the teen admitted he knew what he was getting himself into and had gone into the area to take part in the disorder.

The third defendant, also 14-years-old, is charged with riotous behaviour and attempted criminal damage of the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall on August 11.

During interview he admitted throwing bricks and bottles towards the hall on Society Street after the return parade had finished.

The teen also admitted going to the area to get involved in disorder.

The first of these was a 17-year-old, charged with riotous behaviour and possessing a petrol bomb.

The court heard allegations that during the Apprentice Boys Touching of the Gates ceremony, petrol bombs were thrown in the Nailors Row area.

It is alleged the 17-year-old was captured on police footage carrying a petrol bomb in one hand and a lighter in the other.

The next defendant, a 14-year-old boy appeared charged with riotous behaviour and possession of a petrol bomb on August 10.

The court heard allegations that he was seen on footage throwing an unlit petrol bomb at police, however during police interview the teen denied this and claimed he had thrown an empty glass bottle.

He further claimed he had been at a friend’s house playing a games console, when the other boy’s father came in and told them to “get out and get rioting”.

The final defendant was a further 14-year-old boy accused of riotous behaviour, possession of a petrol bomb and throwing a petrol bomb on August 10.

Each of the teenagers were released on bail on similar conditions.

Two of them were banned from entering Northern Ireland, with one ordered to live in Malin Head and the other ordered to reside in London.

Three of the defendants were electronically tagged and the four teens living in Derry were banned from going within 50 metres of a police operation, 100 metres of any parade and 200metres of any bonfire.

The judge warned each of the teenagers if there was any breach of the bail conditions they would be remanded in custody.

Each of them will appear at the youth court again on August 28.