Twelfth spectator fined £1,150 for sectarian abuse

Court
Court

A woman who lashed out at police after shouting sectarian abuse during a Twelfth of July parade has been ordered to pay fines of more than £1,100.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Carla Dunlop, 34, struck one officer on the face amid efforts to move her and others past a group of nationalist residents in the city.

A judge was told that at one stage she shouted out: “Come on you Fenian f***ers.”

Dunlop, of Bilston Road in Belfast, pleaded guilty to assaulting two policemen, as well as resisting and obstructing police.

She also admitted a further charge of doing a provocative act, namely shouting sectarian comments and threats.

Prosecutors said Dunlop had been part of a group of up to 120 people following the annual Orange Order parade, held this year on July 13.

At one point they passed a crowd of around 20-30 nationalist residents.

Police tried to get the parade followers to move on as shouting broke out between the two factions.

Dunlop was then arrested after making her sectarian comments, the court was told.

She was said to have struck out at two officers during efforts to detain her.

According to the prosecution the incident had been aggravated by hostility.

Defence solicitor Keith Gamble described his client’s behaviour as “drunken nonsense”.

He said: “It’s hard to imagine, frankly, that the lady in the dock is capable of what she was that day.”

Dunlop is a homeowner who holds down two separate jobs, Mr Gamble stressed.

But he accepted: “She didn’t cover herself in glory.”

District Judge Fiona Bagnall confirmed her view that the defendant’s actions were aggravated by hostility.

She imposed fines of £400 fine for the provocative act, £500 for the assaults on police, another £150 for resisting police and a further £100 for the obstruction.

Giving Dunlop 26 weeks to come up with the £1,150 total, plus a £15 offender levy, Judge Bagnall warned she could be jailed for non-payment.