Northern Ireland

Belfast Twelfth riot accused refused bail

The bail hearing took place in the High Court in Belfast
Image caption The bail hearing took place in the High Court in Belfast

An alleged rioter filled bottles with paint to attack police during Twelfth of July disorder in Belfast, a High Court bail application has heard.

Christopher Stitt, 22, is also linked to an attempt to shunt a burning vehicle into officers, it was claimed.

Mr Stitt, of Carrick Hill in the city, was said to have been identified among troublemakers in Ardoyne by a distinctive tattoo on his neck.

The judge refused bail due to the risk of any further offending.

Mr Stitt faces charges of riotous assembly, hijacking and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent over last month's violence.

Twenty police officers were injured in clashes surrounding a contentious Orange Order parade and counter-demonstration by nationalist residents.

Semi-automatic rifle

Petrol bombs, fireworks and other missiles were thrown during rioting by hundreds of people on both sides of the sectarian divide.

Ten gunshots were also fired at police from a semi-automatic rifle.

Opposing Mr Stitt's application for bail, a prosecution barrister said he was identified by police on CCTV footage of the disturbances.

It was claimed that he was seen throwing missiles at police lines.

At one stage, he allegedly brought crates of bottles to those involved in the attacks, the court heard.

According to the prosecution, Mr Stitt filled some bottles with brown paint at the scene.

Paint marks were said to have been found on his footwear following his arrest.

Police lines

The court was told Mr Stitt is alleged to have driven a hijacked Citroen Picasso up Brompton Park during the trouble.

He got out before another man then tried to use it to ram another car at police lines, it was claimed.

Mr Stitt was said to have given a prepared statement to police in which he accepted being the person identified by police.

However, he denies involvement in the alleged offences, including the hijacking incident.

Despite arguments by his barrister, the judge refused bail due to the risk of any further offending.

Lord Justice Coghlin added that a further application could be made once the marching season is over.