Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Union flag protest accused guilty of disorder charges

A man grabbed out at a police cameraman filming street protesters during disorder in Belfast, a court has heard.

Bret Hutchinson was arrested for attempted criminal damage to the video camera amid trouble at Limestone Road's junction with North Queen Street.

The 53-year-old, of Hogarth Street in the city, was also charged with obstructing traffic by standing in the middle of a road and resisting police.

Belfast Magistrates Court was told he has entered guilty pleas to all three offences. Hutchinson was detained on February 1 when tensions remained high over the Union flag dispute.

Although his reason for being in the area was not specifically set out, a prosecution lawyer said the PSNI had been deployed due to ongoing disorder and protests.

She said officers were filming those who had blocked the road. Hutchinson grabbed out as he passed, knocking the hand of an officer filming the situation, the court heard. He then struggled with police, resisting attempts to put him in handcuffs by holding his hands close to his chest, according to the prosecution.

After hearing the details, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ordered a full report before passing sentence. Hutchinson was told to return to court on June 10.

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