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Mum accused of drunkenly trying to scale west Belfast peace wall to be released on bail, judge rules

By Alan Erwin

Published 20/07/2015

The accused was released on bail.
The accused was released on bail.

A mother accused of rioting and drunkenly trying to scale a west Belfast peace wall is to be released on bail, a High Court judge ruled today.

Lyndsey McCartney allegedly threw bottles and masonry over the interface amid street disorder at Lanark Way in the early hours of July 13.

The 32-year-old's lawyer said she feels deeply embarrassed at what happened after she had gone out and got "plastered" on alcopops.

Despite describing McCartney's alleged actions as intolerable, Mr Justice Horner granted bail after citing her family circumstances.

The judge said: "I understand she has a young child who has done absolutely nothing wrong and is obviously clearly suffering."

McCartney, of Lawnbrook Drive in Belfast, faces a single charge of riotous behaviour.

Prosecution counsel Kate McKay claimed she was captured on police camera attempting to climb the peace wall from the loyalist side at Lanark Way onto the nationalist Springfield Road.

She fell back to the ground before trying to push open a gate between the two areas, the court heard.

At that stage a crowd of around 50 people and three police Landrovers were gathered on the Springfield Road.

Mrs McKay said McCartney was observed throwing bottles and pieces of masonry over the wall.

Folllowing her arrest the accused told police she had been drinking from around 2pm on July 12.

Expressing fears about possible re-offending, the prosecutor said McCartney downed two large bottles of WKD.

She wasn't classed as fit for interview until midday.

Barry Gibson, defending, insisted his client is "extremely remorseful" at what happened.

"She went out and got, to use the colloquial term, plastered," he told the court.

Mr Gibson also revealed that McCartney's 12-year-old daughter has been taunted by other children about her being in custody.

The judge warned that anyone convicted of rioting offences faces a jail sentence.

Turning to McCartney's alleged actions, he said: "Police have a difficult enough task, and on the evidence before me (this is) a matter involving very considerable consumption of alcoholic liquor and then quite disgraceful behaviour which no civilised society can tolerate."

Granting bail, Mr Justice Horner banned her from going near the interface at Lanark Way.

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