A teenager appeared in court yesterday accused of slashing a police sergeant’s face with a Stanley knife and damaging a banner at a loyalist protest camp.
The 16-year-old is also alleged to have carried out a provocative act at the scene on Twaddell Avenue in north Belfast.
He was brought before the city’s youth court on crutches and with his leg in plaster following a suspected assault on him during the same incident on New Year’s Day.
The youth, who cannot be identified, faces charges of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, criminal damage, cutting down a banner with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, resisting police and possession of herbal cannabis.
He was granted bail to get treatment for drug-related issues.
The officer was allegedly sliced across the face after being called out to a reported assault at the loyalist camp set up to protest at restrictions on an Orange Order parade through the Ardoyne district.
The suspected knifing incident happened at a nearby bar where the youth had been taken following the altercation on Twaddell Avenue.
Charges were brought against the teenager after he spent a period in hospital.
Despite police objections, District Judge George Conner granted an application for bail mounted by defence lawyer Niall Murphy.
Judge Conner said: “It’s a very serious incident that has happened, but we feel if there’s going to be any salvation for [the accused] he has to get the proper treatment and as quickly as possible.”
The teenager is due to appear again in court next week.