Hoodie ban for teen accused of rioting

The teenager has been banned from entering parts of Galliagh
The teenager has been banned from entering parts of Galliagh

A High Court judge has imposed a hoodie ban on a 14-year-old boy accused of rioting twice in a trouble hit area of the city.

Granting bail to the schoolboy, Lord Justice Coghlin prohibited him from wearing anything that could hide his face.

The teenager faces charges connected to bouts of disorder in the city’s Galliagh area.

In one incident he allegedly threw a block of masonry that hit a police car last month.

Days later he was among a crowd of up to 15 troublemakers who pelted PSNI officers with stones, prosecutors claimed.

The accused, who cannot be named because of his age, faces charges of riotous behaviour, criminal damage and resisting arrest.

As he sought bail on Monday, prosecution counsel Kate McKay said the anti-social behaviour in parts of Galliagh has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

She claimed that the youth was part of a 20-strong group “shouting and screaming” at police on April 6.

The court heard he broke off from the group, lifted masonry and, after a brief hesitation, threw it at their car.

The block struck the driver’s door, causing a dent and scrape, Mrs McKay said.

“He made a gesture at police and then ran off,” she added.

Initial attempts to arrest him at home were said to have been thwarted when he ran out a back door.

The alleged stone-throwing incident occurred on April 9, when officers also came under attack from bottles.

When the teenager was eventually arrested he admitted the first incident but denied involvement in the second outbreak, the court heard.

Defence counsel stressed his client’s young age and the efforts being made by his mother.

But Lord Justice Coghlin called for more parental responsibility to help end the trouble in Galliagh.

“It really is a matter of concern that young people are allowed to gather and to behave in a violent way which puts everybody’s peace of mind at risk,” he said.

“Neither the ordinary citizens nor police should be expected to put up with stone-throwing or attacks by groups of young people.”

Deciding to grant bail, the judge imposed a night-time curfew and a ban on entering parts of Galliagh.

He also ruled: “He must not wear a hoodie with the hood up, or in any way conceal his facial features with a scarf, mask or balaclava.”