Youth ‘seen battering riot police with pole’
A 16-year-old was spotted smashing a five-foot pole down on police during Twelfth of July rioting in Belfast, the High Court heard yesterday.
The accused, who cannot be named because of his age, was also allegedly involved in hijacking a car set on fire during the trouble in Ardoyne.
But with defence lawyers disputing the PSNI's ability to identify him, his application for bail was adjourned until a judge studied CCTV footage.
The teenager faces charges of riotous assembly, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of an offensive weapon, attempted criminal damage, hijacking, criminal damage to a car and possession of herbal cannabis.
A prosecuting barrister claimed he was seen and photographed on roofs in the area wearing a hooded top with a distinctive logo.
It was alleged the same youth was later captured on CCTV wearing a balaclava and throwing bottles and also smashing the pole down on police lines up to five times.
The court heard allegations that the teenager was among a 100-strong mob that attacked police.
But Joe Brolly, defending, said: “In essence what this is is a case of police theory. It is speculation.
“There is no evidence in relation to identification save for the fact police say a man who is photographed earlier in the day is wearing a top similar to the top depicted in later photographs.
“We say there is no forensic evidence, there's no mapping evidence about sizes.”
He added that the top his client was alleged to have been wearing at the scene was commonly worn by other young people.
After hearing both sides Mr Justice Hart adjourned the application until later in the week.
The judge said: “I would like to see the footage for myself.”