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'Child burglar tried to squirt his blood at police', court told

Published 02/02/2016

CastleCourt shopping centre
CastleCourt shopping centre

A 15-year-old alleged burglar tried to squirt his own blood at a police officer following a suspected drug overdose, the High Court heard today.

The youth is accused of four separate attacks on officers after being detained over the theft of two phones from an office in Belfast city centre.

Details emerged as a judge overturned a decision to grant him bail.

Prosecutors had appealed his release by claiming he must be kept in custody to protect the public.

The accused, who cannot be identified, is charged with burglary of a non-dwelling, going equipped for burglary, four assaults on police, possession of Class B drugs and assaulting a designated civilian member of PSNI staff.

He allegedly entered the Scottish Provident Building at Donegall Square West on January 29 by "tailgating" a worker returning to their office.

Prosecutor Kate McKay claimed the teenager went up to the third floor and stole two smart phones.

The owner of one device, an iPhone 6, used an app to track it to nearby Castle Lane, the court heard.

Staff went to the location and called police when they spotted the accused, according to Mrs McKay.

She said officers detained and searched him, recovering the two phones, a screwdriver and suspected herbal cannabis.

It was alleged that the youth assaulted two PSNI officers at the scene, kicking one and spitting in his face.

Later he was transferred to the Mater Hospital to be treated for a suspected drug overdose.

Mrs McKay claimed he assaulted two more officers there, striking one on the head with his foot.

"He also attempted to squirt blood (at one) from a drip in his arm," she added.

A judge was also told the teenager tried to head-butt a civilian detention officer while in police custody.

Although he was granted bail at Belfast Youth Court yesterday, the prosecution decided to lodge an appeal.

Mrs McKay contended: "Given the behaviour of this young man he's clearly a danger to members of the public."

Conor Maguire, defending, argued that his client has been diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder for which he is receiving medical treatment.

"When he was in the police station he didn't have his medication," the barrister added.

Granting the prosecution appeal, His Honour Judge Lynch ruled that bail should be denied.

He said: "The violent fraction, in my view, is likely to result in harm to members of the public and persons involved in (any) detention."

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