Hoodie ban for boy, 14, facing charges over Galliagh rioting

The entrance to the Galliagh estate.
The entrance to the Galliagh estate.

A High Court judge on Monday (May 11) imposed a hoodie ban on a 14-year-old boy accused of rioting twice in the trouble-hit Londonderry district of Galliagh.

Granting bail to the schoolboy, Lord Justice Coghlin prohibited him from wearing anything that could hide his face.

The teenager faces charges connected to bouts of disorder in the city’s Galliagh area of Londonderry last month.

In one incident the boy allegedly threw a block of masonry that hit a police car last month.

Days later he was amongst a crowd of up to fifteen troublemakers who pelted PSNI officers with stones, prosecutors told the court.

The accused, who cannot be named because of his age, faces charges of riotous behaviour, criminal damage and resisting arrest.

As he sought bail yesterday, prosecution counsel Kate McKay said the anti-social behaviour in parts of Galliagh has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

She claimed that the youth was part of a 20-strong group “shouting and screaming” at police on April 6.

The court heard he broke off from the group, lifted masonry and, after a brief hesitation, threw it at their car.

The block struck the driver’s door, causing a dent and scrape, Mrs McKay told the court.

“He made a gesture at police and then ran off,” she added.

Initial attempts to arrest him at home were said to have been thwarted when he ran out a back door, the court was told.

The alleged stone-throwing incident occurred on April 9, when officers also came under attack from bottles, the court heard.

When the teenager was eventually arrested he admitted the first incident but denied involvement in the second outbreak, the court alsoheard.

Defence counsel stressed his client’s young age and the efforts being made by his mother.

But Lord Justice Coghlin called for more parental responsibility to help end the trouble in Galliagh.

“It really is a matter of concern that young people are allowed to gather and to behave in a violent way which puts everybody’s peace of mind at risk,” he said.

“Neither the ordinary citizens nor police should be expected to put up with stone-throwing or attacks by groups of young people.”

Deciding to grant bail, the judge imposed a night-time curfew and a ban on entering parts of Galliagh.

The court also made a ruling on the teenager’s clothing and head gear, prohibiting the boy from covering his face.

Lord Justice Coghlin ruled: “He must not wear a hoodie with the hood up, or in any way conceal his facial features with a scarf, mask or balaclava.”