Police forced to step in and restore order at courthouse

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Disorder broke out in the foyer of Downpatrick Courthouse on Thursday as clashes erupted between a group of men.

A witness who was in the courthouse when the trouble broke out said there was a lot of shouting and bins were thrown as the “scuffle” broke out.

But police, both uniformed and in plainclothes, arrived on the scene to bring the situation under control.

“It was in the foyer of the building,” the witness said.

“I was in one of the courtrooms and could hear the shouting. There was a scuffle and there were bins being thrown. A lot of the police that were in the room that I was in then rushed out.

“I came out at that stage to see what was going on but by then the police seemed to have it under control.”

He continued: “There was a sort of second outburst but the police managed to get it under control very quickly. Uniformed police officers arrived very quickly. One of the security officers was showing a sort of scuffed knee from where he must have either fallen down or been pushed.

“There was security there, there were bodyguards for the judges and the police were already there. The security weren’t left on their own. It was under control again fairly quickly.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Police received a report of an altercation at premises at English Street, Downpatrick this morning (12th September) at approximately 10.50 am.

“All parties were spoken to by police and no complaints were made.”