Judge orders Derry riot footage to be handed over

Serious rioting in the Bogside in Derry Northern Ireland following the annual Apprentice Boys of Derry parade through the city, on Saturday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ? by-line

Serious rioting in the Bogside in Derry Northern Ireland following the annual Apprentice Boys of Derry parade through the city, on Saturday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ? by-line

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A judge has ordered three news organisations to hand over all unbroadcast footage of public disorder in Derry, during the annual Apprentice Boys parade to the police.

The BBC, UTV and ITN had opposed the application made by the police because they could be seen as evidence gatherers and as “another limb of the state.”

A barrister representing the TV companies had said the disclosure of the unbroadcast footage would jeopardise the media’s ability to report the news fairly and objectively.

However, in his brief ruling the Recorder of Derry, Judge Piers Grant, said he was satisfied the unbroadcast footage could contain evidence of indictable offences and the “detection of such individuals is very much in the public interest.”

The judge said he was not satisfied that producing unbroadcast footage to the police would “cause a risk to the life and limb” of the local media or that they would be viewed as evidence gatherers.

He added there was no evidence this had happened in the past.

Judge Grant ordered that the BBC, UTV and ITN hand over all unbroadcast footage of the disorder in the Bogside area of the city between 4pm on August 13 and 1am on August 14, 2011.