Belfast Telegraph

Teen suspected of carrying drugs 'bites police' in New Year's Day incident

By Alan Erwin

A teenager allegedly bit two police officers taking him to hospital amid suspicions he had drugs hidden in his body, the High Court heard.

Prosecutors claimed the 17-year-old, who cannot be identified, launched the attack after he was discovered in Newry on New Year's Day.

The youth is also accused of a separate unprovoked assault on two workmen at his educational training facilities.

Granting bail on Tuesday to secure accommodation, a judge prohibited him from any violent behaviour towards staff or other residents.

The teenager faces charges of common assault, possession of a Class C drug, attempted criminal damage, and assault on police.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said an emergency call was made on December 17 from an organisation in Lurgan where the accused is enrolled as a student.

It was alleged that he had attacked the workmen, punched a wall and then left the premises.

"He has an issue with an addiction to drugs and a propensity to violence," Mr Maguire contended.

The youth later handed himself in at a PSNI station, was released and then reported missing in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Police found him in Newry and taken for a medical examination.

"The doctor had a concern because he had secreted drugs intimately," prosecution counsel said.

"As a result of that he was to be taken to Daisy Hill Hospital, but during the course of the journey he bit two police officers causing injury."

With the accused being held at a juvenile justice centre, Mr Maguire confirmed the prosecution only consented to bail if it was to secure accommodation.

Her Honour Judge McReynolds agreed to release him on those terms - once a bed becomes available.

Banning the teenager from taking alcohol or non-prescribed drugs, she added: "He shall not assault any person whatsoever."

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