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Girl (17) charged over Botanic Gardens attacks breached bail twice by flouting alcohol ban, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A 17-year-old girl charged over attacks in a Belfast park breached bail twice in two days by flouting an alcohol ban, a court has heard.

The accused, who cannot be identified because of her age, was allegedly involved in drink-fuelled assaults at Botanic Gardens last Thursday.

Footage of the incidents, in a park packed with people enjoying the sun, went viral on social media.

Police subsequently charged the girl with four counts of common assault.

A 25-year-old man has also been charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault on police as part of the same investigation.

The girl had been released on police bail to appear in court on May 31.

However, she was taken into custody for allegedly violating a prohibition on drinking alcohol.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court today, she spoke only to consult with her lawyer.

A police officer told District Judge Fiona Bagnall: "This is the second breach of bail in two days. There's only so much (we can do)."

She confirmed that alcohol was a major issue in the alleged offences.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd said his client accepted the latest breach.

"I accept that full bail is possibly unrealistic at this juncture," he added.

Although the judge ordered the teenager to remain in custody, she granted temporary compassionate release for a medical appointment on Wednesday.

Mrs Bagnall stressed: "She is to be in the company of a social worker at all times... and returned to Hydebank Young Offenders Centre by 3pm."

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