Man charged with riot and throwing petrol bomb after scenes of disorder

A 47-year-old man has been charged with riot and throwing petrol bomb following the scenes of disorder in the Newtownabbey area on Saturday night.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 5:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th April 2021, 5:33 pm
A general view of cars burning at the Doagh Road roundabout of Newtownabbey in County Antrim on Saturday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

In a statement, the PSNI said detectives investigating the disorder in the O’Neill Road/Cloughfern area have charged the man.

He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday, April 26.

As is usual procedure, all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.

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Police have said that 30 petrol bombs were thrown at police in what has been termed an “orchestrated attack”.

North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said 30 petrol bombs were thrown at officers and three cars set alight.

He said from around 7.30pm to 10.30pm a crowd of 20 to 30 people, including young people and older men, some of whom were wearing masks, gathered in the O’Neill Road/Cloughfern area.

“In total 30 petrol bombs were thrown at police and three vehicles were hijacked and set on fire,” he said.

Mr Beck said it was an “orchestrated attack on police”.

“My officers put on their uniform every day and go out into the community they serve, not knowing what lies ahead of them,” he said.

“However this does not deter them from turning up every day to do their duty.

“No-one, no matter what line of work they are in, deserves to be subjected to any kind of violence.

“The officers who serve the Newtownabbey area are fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, they have families who wait every day on their loved ones coming home, hoping they have not been injured, or worse.”

He added: “We are living in unprecedented times, dealing with a global pandemic, no-one needs the added pressure of disorder in their community.

“I would appeal to those who are taking to the streets to stop immediately, their actions are causing nothing but harm and distress to the very communities they claim they are representing.”