Belfast Telegraph

Man 'forced to carry petrol can and 35 bottles to riot scene'

BY ALAN ERWIN

A man stopped with a petrol container and box full of 35 bottles amid heightening tensions in Belfast claimed paramilitaries forced him to carry them, the High Court has heard.

Connor Whelan was arrested as crowds gathered in the Broadway area ahead of an outbreak of disorder on July 11.

Prosecutors claimed he was wearing latex gloves and equipped to make petrol bombs.

A judge was told that as he was being taken into a police car he shouted: "Up the 'Ra."

Whelan (29), of Pembroke Manor, Dunmurry, faces charges of possessing articles for use in petrol bombs.

He was refused bail.

Whelan was detained after officers saw three men running away from a black box and canister near Fallswater Street late on the Eleventh night.

Thirty-five bottles and a two-thirds full five-litre petrol container were recovered.

Up to 40 people were in the area ahead of what was to become the first outbreak of last month's violence, the court heard.

Police said they found a balaclava, a dozen rags and a camouflage snood on Whelan. He claimed that paramilitaries had asked him to carry the material.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph