Murder bid accused boy abuses judge from dock
A 15-year-old boy was jailed for abusing a judge yesterday as he appeared in court charged with attempted murder.
The defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, and has a Limavady address, faces a total of eight charges relating to an incident in the town in the early hours of Thursday, December 28.
They include attempting to murder an 18-year-old male and possession of a knife with intent to commit murder; damaging a coat belonging to the victim, and attempting to cause the victim to leave his home due to a threat.
He is also accused of assaulting two police officers, resisting police and damaging the interior of a police vehicle.
Also in court was a co-accused Padraig Brolly (18), whose address was given as Rosseden Drive in Limavady.
He faces five charges including attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to the alleged victim; possession of a hatchet with intent to commit criminal damage; damaging a fence belonging to the victim’s mother, and attempting to cause the victim to leave his home due to a threat.
Brolly is further accused of possessing cannabis.
A police officer said that at 3.15am on December 28 the two accused approached the rear of a house in Limavady where a woman and her 18-year-old son, who has learning difficulties and is classed as vulnerable, were inside.
The woman had been sleeping in a bedroom and heard a commotion outside and shouted down to the two.
The officer said the woman said the 15-year-old “proclaimed to be a member of the UDA and that her son was a drug dealer and had to get out”.
The policeman said the woman alleged Brolly was waving what looked like a foot-long hatchet “around his head” and used it to damage a fence post.
The officer added the woman said police had been called and the two left and she woke up her son.
A short time later, said the policeman, Brolly and the 15-year-old returned and the younger man again mentioned the UDA and drugs and said her son “had to get out”.
The officer said the woman said Brolly was running around a parking area waving a hatchet.
The officer said the 18-year-old victim, “due to his own anger issues”, then ran outside and his mother claimed she saw the 15-year-old “thrusting an object twice towards the chest of her son”. The officer told the court that “luckily enough there was no major injury”, but damage was caused to a coat and marks were left on his chest.
Police then searched for the men and at 10.15am on Thursday they were alerted by the 15-year-old’s family that the boy was trying to dispose of evidence.
Police arrived and had to handcuff and put leg restraints on him, and the boy spat out at officers.
The police officer told the court Brolly contacted a solicitor and made himself available for interview on Thursday.
He said he was at the scene, but denied having a hatchet in his possession.
The officer said Brolly claimed the co-accused had a knife and tried to stab the injured party, but no weapons had been found.
He said he feared Brolly could commit further offences and there was a chance of him absconding if released on bail.
The officer also had concerns about potential intimidation of witnesses. Solicitor Paddy McGurk said Brolly had voluntarily handed himself in and the officer confirmed the defendant had admitted being at the scene and had given his version of events.
Judge McNally said while the weapons had still not been found and full interviews with witnesses had not yet taken place, he was concerned about a potential interference with witnesses and refused bail for Brolly.
At that stage the 15-year-old swore and demanded to be taken from the court.
When warned by the judge that he could be jailed for contempt of court, the teenager added: “Go ahead, give me a sentence, Rathgael is a holiday camp.”
The boy’s solicitor offered an apology, which was accepted by the judge, but as he was being led away the teenager again directed a comment at Judge McNally.
The judge then ordered him to be brought back and jailed him for 14 days for contempt of court.
As the 15-year-old was being taken down to the cells he said: “Happy days, a wee holiday.”