Four took part in ‘sectarian’ attack

Four took part in ‘sectarian’ attack

5 December 2012

FOUR men have appeared in court for what was described as a sectarian incident in Killyleagh last summer.

District Judge Greg McCourt said what happened after a Loyalist band paraded in the town on August 11 was an “absolute disgrace.”

At Downpatrick Court on Thursday Andrew George Brian Johnston (19), of Sloane Crescent, admitted riotous behaviour in Cross Street and inside the Central Bar.

William Malcolm Healy (61), of The Anchorage, Killyleagh, admitted disorderly behaviour in Cross Street, while Warren James McAllister (36),

of Kerry Hill, Killy-

leagh, admitted disorderly behaviour inside the Central Bar and assaulting a woman.

Also before the court was John Roland McIlveen (29), of Lansdowne Road, Newtownards, who admitted disorderly behaviour in High Street and resisting police.

The charges related

to a number of incidents which occurred after Loyalists had returned to Killyleagh from an Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry.

A prosecution lawyer said: “All the defendants played different roles in the incident, but it would be our case that they were all motivated by sectarianism.”

The court was told that Johnston was seen “brandishing” a chair in the Catholic-owned bar and that customers were forced to take cover as he swung it over his head.

It was also stated that a number of people shouted sectarian remarks and danced outside the Central Bar while drunk.

Mr. Joe Mullholland, solicitor, said Johnston was intoxicated and had “overreacted to a situation that was started by someone else.”

Mr. McCourt said that the overall atmosphere that day seemed to be characterised by hostility.

“This is a disgraceful incident,” he said. “You arrived back in Killyleagh on a bus, one-and-a-half hours late, and then engaged in activity which was motivated by hostility. That was hostility based on religion.”

Johnston was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and was also placed on probation for 18 months. As part of his probation, he was ordered to take part in an anger management course and undergo alcohol counselling.

Sentencing for Healy, McAllister and McIlveen was adjourned to January 10 so that pre-sentence reports can be prepared.