Belfast Telegraph

Rioting Derry youth (16) 'bored', court told

By George Jackson

A boy arrested during disorder in Londonderry on Monday told police he "was bored and got carried away with himself and was egged on by his mates to get involved", a court has heard.

An officer told Derry Magistrates Court that the 16-year-old has admitted throwing and possessing two petrol bombs, riotous behaviour, attempted arson and throwing a stone on to the city walls which struck a woman in the back of the head, causing her concussion.

The police witness told Deputy District Judge Paul Conway at the court sitting in Omagh that the schoolboy was recorded taking part in the disturbances at times when he had his face covered with a mask and also when his face was visible.

She said the unrest in Derry had been ongoing since last Saturday and that tensions, particularly in interface areas, were running very high.

The officer opposed the youth being released on bail because she believed he would reoffend.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor George Copeland said the juvenile had no criminal record and had never come to the attention of the police before.

Mr Conway said the offences admitted by the schoolboy in the Bogside and Nailors Row areas were extremely serious.

"You see it every morning on the news. It is ongoing violence involving masked youths who probably do not know nor appreciate the seriousness of what they are doing in that they could kill somebody by their actions." he said.

The judge told the youth: "You are dancing on a very thin line at the moment.

"The only reason I am releasing you on bail is because you have never come to the attention of the police before.

"If you had in the past even shouted something at the police, I would have remanded you in custody.

"My advice to you for the rest of the summer is to stay away from your mates who egged you on, stay away from violence and stay in your home.

"You have entered into very serious matters and the repercussions of alleviating your boredom for an hour could have very serious long-term consequences for you and for others."

He was released on his own bail of £50 to appear before the city's Youth Court on August 7. He was banned from entering the Bogside area or coming within 500m of any police operation.He also has to observe a curfew.

Belfast Telegraph

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