Belfast Telegraph

Bangor pier teen attack accused 'facing abuse' from nationalists and loyalists

By Paul Higgins

A teenager accused of involvement in the “vicious assault” on Bangor pier has faced abuse from both sides of the community, a judge was told.

Newtownards Magistrates Court heard claims that when 18-year-old Cora Campbell walks to her signing station to report to police three times a week, geographically she crosses from one side of the community to the other and is often abused by both.

In addition, defence counsel Conor O’Kane revealed the teenager is “living under a loyalist death threat.”

Applying for her bail conditions to be varied in relaxing her curfew and removing a reporting condition, Mr O’Kane told the court: “Every time she walks to the police station, she gets abuse.....she gets abuse from the Nationalist community and abuse from members of the loyalist community.”

Campbell, with an address at English Street in Downpatrick, is one of three teenagers accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a teenager in an attack on 20 April which was recorded and spread across social media resulting in millions of views.

A 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy have also been charged.

Previous courts have heard claims that the victim was “lured” to the pier where she was allegedly attacked by Campbell and her co-accused, the two landing numerous kicks and punches.

At one stage the victim had alcohol poured in her face and a male recording the footage can be heard encouraging the two to continue the attack.

A Detective Constable told Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter he “maybe aware of this case” and having outlined how the alleged victim was subjected to a “vicious assault” which was recorded and published online, the judge exclaimed “oh yes.”

The officer said she “would be reluctant to lift the curfew” which is currently 7pm-7am but regarding the condition that she signs at a police station three times a week, “she is tagged and I don’t believe that the signing is really necessary.”

Mr O’Kane said that was a “fair concession” from the police and added that in relation to the curfew, he was not seeking its complete removal but rather for it to be pushed back for a few hours, submitting that with the light evenings, “its a bit draconian to have a teenager in by 7pm.”

He told the court that to date, Campbell has obeyed each and every condition of her bail with police calling to her bail address several times a week “and she has not been found wanting.”

Judge Prenter said while he would remove the reporting condition, he would not remove the curfew but vary it so that Campbell has to be home by 10pm.

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