Police attacked in Carrickfergus by loyalist mob

A WOMAN charged over orchestrated rioting in Carrickfergus has been banned from going near any future loyalist protests.

The order was made as part of Laura Nicholl’s bail condition when she appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on Thurday.

The 20-year-old, from from Unity Street, Carrickfergus, was among three people arrested during trouble in the Co Antrim town on Wednesday night.

The order states that she cannot go within 500m of any further flag protests.

Violence erupted after demonstrations against the decision to only fly the Union flag at Belfast City Council on designated days.

Alliance Party offices were attacked as part of the wider disturbances.

Nicholl faced three charges of riotous behaviour at North Road, Carrickfergus, assaulting a female police officer and resisting arrest.

A PSNI officer said she could connect Nicholl to the charges and opposed bail over her concerns about potential re-offending.

The officer claimed Nicholl had suggested during interview that she intended to attend another protest tonight in the Rathcoole area.

But defence solicitor Sarah McKeown argued that her client had been only joking.

“She indicated she was not going to be anywhere near Rathcoole,” the lawyer told the court.

“I believe she sarcastically said ‘Oh yes I will be at that.'”

Ms McKeown added that Nicholl was only on the fringes of what was going on.

“It was accepted by police that she was by no means one of the main movers,” she stressed.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted bail on condition that the accused abides by a curfew and stays away from further demonstrations.

Nicholl is due to appear again before the court in six weeks time.

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