Northern Ireland

Man rode through fatal accident cordon in west Belfast

A man broke through police cordons around a fatal road accident in Belfast on Monday then tried to assault PSNI officers, the High Court has heard.

Joseph Peoples, 30, from Lenadoon Avenue, west Belfast, is charged with disorderly behaviour and assault.

A prosecution lawyer said the accused sped past police lines on his bicycle a few yards from where screens had been erected around a man's body.

The man had been knocked down by a lorry on the Andersonstown Road.

The court was told that when police tried to stop him, Mr Peoples swore at them and said: "I'm away to get my broo (unemployment benefit)."

The prosecution lawyer added that when Mr Peoples was eventually stopped, he tried to headbutt a police officer and to bite another one.

Mr Justice Maguire heard that the accused was on bail after two other attacks on police during disturbances following house parties in west Belfast.

A defence lawyer said Mr Peoples denied assaulting police and said he did not know what the cordons on the Andersonstown Road were for.

He added: "My client now understands that this was a fatal accident and he doesn't feel proud of himself for encroaching on such a sensitive situation."

Mr Peoples, who was said to have a serious alcohol problem, was refused bail.