Belfast Telegraph

Riot accused William Stevenson will have to stand trial, judge rules

An alleged rioter has failed in a bid to have the case against him thrown out before it reaches trial.

William Stevenson's legal team claimed there was insufficient evidence to press ahead with the charge.

But after studying footage of disorder in Belfast a judge ruled it should go before a jury.

Stevenson (44), of Shore Crescent in the city, faces a count of riotous assembly.

He is alleged to have taken part in street trouble which broke out on the Twelfth of July last year over controversial Orange Order marches.

But his lawyers contested preliminary enquiry proceedings to establish whether he has a case to answer.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he was never properly identified on an image said to have been from the scene in the east of the city.

Defence barrister Mark Farrell, instructed by Minnis and Braden Solicitors, asked the judge to view footage to decide if it was good enough to establish a prima facie case.

"We say there's insufficient evidence to return the defendant for trial," he said.

"This is an unusual case because there's no identifying witness."

Ruling on the application, District Judge Fiona Bagnall, said: "Having viewed the CCTV I consider there is sufficient at this stage to return this to the Crown Court."

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