Rocket launcher found west BelfastA teenager has gone on trial today (Wednesday) accused of his part in a republican riot in west Belfast last year.

Darren Kane (19) denies rioting and inciting others to take part in the riot on June 26, 2012.

A jury at Belfast Crown Court heard that Kane, of Foxes Glen Dunmurry, west Belfast, was allegedly identified as one of a 40-strong mob who attacked police during several hours of rioting.

It is alleged that he was seen on CCTV footage breaking up masonry which was used to attack police and allegedly capturd on video encouraging others to hurl missiles at PSNI officers in riot gear.

A Crown lawyer said that around 9pm on the night police deployed a Tactical Support Group (TSG) team and a public order unit to the Donegall Road junction with the Westlink near the Park Centre after the riot broke out.

“During the course of this riot, petrol bombs and heavy masonry were thrown at police lines,” said the lawyer.

The jury, sitting with Judge Gordon Kerr QC, ┬áheard evidence from a PSNI inspector who was the ‘bronze commander’ in charge of the police operation on the evening of the riot.

He said that he deployed police units across the road to prevent the rioters reaching the loyalist Village area.

The inspector said the rioting had become so sustained “I asked for other TSG units to come to help. However, help couldn’t come.”

The court heard that in an effort to try and defuse the situation and allow community representatives to intervene, the inspector gave the order for police lines to be moved back ten feet.

However, he said that just after 11 pm, the rioting erupted again and around 20 petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown at police lines.

The jury heard that the officer was in contact by telephone with his ‘silver commander’ to try and deploy water cannon to disperse the rioters but it was unavailable at the time.

He was given permission around 11.30 pm to use plastic baton rounds and four were fired in the direction of the rioters who continued to hurl petrol bombs and missiles at police.

The court heard that several times the crowd were warned over a police address system that if they did not disperse further plastic rounds would be fired.

“This was met by jeers and whistles from the crowd,” said the inspector. “A further warning was given and further petrol bombs were thrown at police lines.”

He said he spoke to local community representatives and it was agreed to move back police lines in an effort to calm the situation. He also cancelled an order to fire further plastic baton rounds.

The inspector added that by around 12.30 am the crowd had dispersed and calm was restored to the area.

The jury heard that police officers operating CCTV cameras put together an electronic E-brief of suspects who were identified as being involved in the rioting.

The E-brief was then circulated internally through the PSNI computer system. One police officer came forward and she allegedly identified one of the riot suspects as Darren Kane.

The crown lawyer said Kane was later arrested and during interview he admitted being in the area with family members but denied being involved in the riot.

The trial continues.


Share |

Comments are closed.

BD Top 5
Email Us