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Teen girl (13) accused of robbing young children and spitting at police during 'horrific' crime-spree that saw Bangor Castle vandalised

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Belfast High Court

Belfast High Court

Belfast High Court

A 13-year-old girl allegedly broke into and vandalised a castle as part of an "horrific" crime-spree, the High Court heard on Wednesday.

She is also accused of robbing younger children of phones and clothes at knifepoint, as well as biting and spitting on members of the PSNI.

Prosecutors claimed she may have targeted officers because she knows how dangerous such attacks are during the pandemic.

The girl, who cannot be named because of her age, allegedly accompanied a 16-year-old boy in a series of raids and muggings in Bangor, Co Down on May 23.

She is charged with three counts of robbery, theft, possession of a knife with intent, and burglary.

The two teenagers were said to have gone into an Asda store and stole two bottles of vodka.

Less than half an hour later, they allegedly broke a window at Bangor Castle, climbed inside and smashed glasses.

Crown lawyer Lauren Cheshire said CCTV footage shows them throwing eggs at a wall.

A 60-year-old ornamental key two bottles of red wine stolen from the castle were never recovered.

Later that evening the pair allegedly approached a group of children in a nearby leisure centre car park, according to the prosecutor.

The 16-year-old allegedly told a 12-year-old boy he was on bail for attempted murder, pointed a knife at his throat and demanded his iPhone.

His female co-accused instructed him to get the password before they fled into woods with the mobile, it was claimed.

Half an hour later another two boys aged 11 were allegedly targeted.

They were threatened with a knife as the teenage robbers again demanded their phones and passwords.

One child was also forced to hand over his Nike Air Max trainers and North Face jacket amid claims the older perpetrator threatened: "I'm going to stab the f*** out of both of you if you don't give me the stuff."

Police located the older accused with two stolen mobiles on him and wearing one of the victim's clothes.

The girl was found at Bangor bus station and told officers of her alleged involvement in the robberies and break-in.

"She said she tried to tell the victims to run away during the incidents, but she was in her words 'blootered' as she had drunk half a bottle of vodka straight," Ms Cheshire submitted.

Further charges of assaults on police and criminal damage to a PSNI vehicle relate to an alleged outburst of violence at a children's home on October 22.

Ms Cheshire said the girl repeatedly spat on three police officers and all over the inside of a cell van.

She also bit one of the officers on the leg amid "extremely defiant" behaviour.

Other pending cases involve allegations of threatening to kill another child with a Stanley Knife, smashing in the windscreen of a car and kicking a police officer in the head.

Opposing the girl's application for bail, Ms Cheshire argued she poses a serious danger to the public and herself.

"There are 19 case files with the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) at present and it's escalating to the carrying of weapons, robberies, biting and spitting at police during the pandemic," she said.

"The fact she is a child does not diminish the fear of police officers when she spits at them.

"There is a concern she is spitting at them precisely because she knows how dangerous it is."

Defence barrister Conor Holmes told the court his client had no memory of alleged offences due to her level of drinking.

"She is 13-years old and frankly that's tragic," he said.

"My friend has outlined an horrific array of facts... for a child we are discussing a complete break-down in any sort of moral compass. She has completely gone off the rails."

Mr Holmes stressed the girl is intelligent and, when sober, pleasant and amicable.

Adjourning the bail application for more information from social services, Mrs Justice Keegan described the circumstances as "shocking".

She said: "Something has gone wrong we need to look at, otherwise the future is not very positive at all."

Belfast Telegraph


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