Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Axes and hammers 'used by loyalist rioters'

Loyalist rioters attacked police vehicles with hatchets, knives and sledgehammers during trouble in east Belfast, the High Court heard.

Petrol bombs were also thrown at PSNI lines in one of the most serious outbreaks of violence linked to ongoing Union flag protests.

Details were disclosed as bail was refused to a man accused of shoving a wheelie bin towards police.

Malcolm Stevenson (46), of Templemore Street, Belfast, denies a charge of rioting in the Newtownards Road area on January 7 after trouble flared as protesters returned to east Belfast from a demonstration at City Hall.

However, bail was refused due to the risk of further offences.

Two others accused of offences linked to the ongoing disorder were also ordered to remain in custody. Stephen Thompson (39), of Dunraven Park, denies charges of disorderly behaviour, threats to kill and assault on police during trouble on January 4.

The third suspect, David McDonnell (44), of Emerald Street, Belfast, faces a charge of throwing a brick at a police Land Rover during disturbances.

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