Northern Ireland

13-year-old in court charged with Twelfth rioting

Overnight riots in Ardoyne
Image caption Police came under attack during three nights of rioting in north Belfast in July

A 13-year-old boy has appeared in court charged in connection with the Twelfth of July rioting in north Belfast.

The accused, who cannot be named because of his age, reportedly handed himself in after police released images of those they wanted to speak to about the trouble in Ardoyne.

He faces two counts of riotous assembly on 12 and 13 July, Belfast Youth Court heard.

He was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in two weeks time.

The schoolboy, who is not from the Ardoyne area, is one of a number of youths and young men to be charged in connection with the violence.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old youth allegedly spotted smashing a five-foot pole down on police during the Ardoyne riots has been refused High Court bail.

A judge ruled that he should remain in custody after studying CCTV footage of the disturbances.

The teenager is also accused of being part of a group who seized a car which was set on fire during the street disorder.

He faces charges of riotous assembly, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of an offensive weapon, attempted criminal damage, hijacking, criminal damage to a car, and possession of herbal cannabis.

According to the prosecution he was observed throwing bottles and violently smashing the pole down on police lines up to five times.

The court heard allegations that the teenager was among a 100-strong mob who attacked a police Land Rover.

Later a masked group went to a house, threatened the homeowner with a golf club and demanded the car parked in the drive, it was alleged.

It was claimed he was seen beating the vehicle with a golf club while a mob set it on fire with a petrol bomb.

The teenager was arrested two weeks later at his home with a quantity of cannabis, according to the prosecution.

His defence team disputed the quality of the case against him and the police's ability to identify him.

They contended that the charges against him were based on theory and speculation, with no forensic evidence to back them up.

Mr Justice Hart had adjourned the case until he could view the available CCTV footage.

After watching it, and studying photographs taken from the scene, he ruled that bail should be denied.