Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Man faces charge of inciting rioters

Loyalists protesting around the village area in south Belfast December 17 2012

A man accused of inciting loyalist flag protesters to riot allegedly 'fired' an imaginary machine gun at police, a court heard.

Brian McLean was remanded in custody amid claims that he also failed to remove a mask during trouble in Carrickfergus on Monday night.

Meanwhile, two other men accused of obstructing roads in Belfast were granted bail but subjected to afternoon curfews.

Stephen Smith and Tyler Thompson must both be at home by 4pm to keep them away from any further rush-hour blockades.

All three accused appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court following another night of disorder linked to protests against restrictions on flying the union flag at City Hall.

McLean (30) of Maple Gardens, Carrickfergus, faces charges of inciting others to use riotous behaviour, disorderly behaviour and failing to remove an item suspected of being worn to conceal his identity.

Defence solicitor Seamus Leonard stressed his client was not charged with actual rioting nor accused of throwing anything at police.

“This is a man who was drunk and then with a dummy machine gun is shooting at police. That is what is alleged,” the lawyer said.

However, District Judge Fiona Bagnall refused bail due to the risk of re-offending, remanding him in custody until January 2.

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