A 15-year-old has appeared this afternoon at Londonderry Magistrates Court on seven charges, including kidnapping, making a threat to kill and charges of a sexual nature with a girl.
The charges arise out of an incident in the Cityside in Londonderry on Tuesday and the accused, who was brought into Court 2 at Londonderry Magistrates Court from the cells accompanied by prison officers and a policewoman, was allowed to sit outside the dock as the charges were put to him.
He faces two charges of unlawful imprisonment or detention of a girl, by force taking the girl away against her will, threatening to kill her, assaulting the girl and one count of sexual touching and a further charge of attempting to vaginally penetrate the girl with his penis without her consent.
Casually dressed in black tracksuit bottoms, a green stripped hoodie, blue t-shirt and trainers, the youth sat calmly, with his arms folded throughout the hearing, and when the charges were put to him and asked if he understood the charges he nodded that he did.
A woman constable told the court that she could connect the youth to the charges and when asked what the police attitude to bail was she said the PSNI objected on a number of counts, not least in respect of the victim’s safety and for the youth’s safety as well, given the amount of publicity the matter had generated.
She told the court that the alarm had been raised by a young girl who saw a male pulling another girl away towards an embankment and she screamed and she went on to outlining further details including how the accused was alleged to have told the girl he would kill her if she did not let him touch her before running off.
The woman officer said that he had told his mother he was going to bed, but had consumed drink, slipped out of the house and drunk a bottle of wine he had hidden earlier. The Officer said that there was concern about the accused drinking due to the fact that he was on medication, had ADHD and should not be drinking, and also had a number of other medical concerns, which included foetal alcohol syndrome.
An in-depth discussion took place about a suitable bail address, and after much deliberation District Judge Barney McElholm decided that a Juvenile Justice Centre was inappropriate for the accused and decided to grant the youth his own bail of £100 with one surety of £500 to appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court tomorrow, Thursday after psychiatric assessment.
Detained overnight into a Western Health and Social Care Trust facility he is to stay at that address until assessed, and not to leave the company of two social workers and his mother, who will be staying with him overnight. He was also ordered not to leave the property, and is to be electronically tagged between the hours of 9pm and 9am.