Northern Ireland

Boy, 13, in court over Larne school stabbing

Ballymena Magistrates' Court
Image caption The case was heard at Ballymena Magistrates' Court

A 13-year-old boy has appeared in court to face charges following a stabbing at a County Antrim school.

The teenager appeared at Ballymena Magistrates' Court charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon with intent.

He spoke only to say: "I understand the charges."

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was arrested after a pupil was stabbed at Larne Grammar School earlier in January.

The alleged victim was a year 10 pupil.

In court, a police officer connected the defendant to the charges.

He said police still needed to gather medical evidence and were still collating statements, adding: "As you can imagine a lot of the children are very upset."

A solicitor for the defendant said psychological and medical reports would be required for her client.

The accused was released on his own bail of £25 while his father, who was with him in court, provided a surety of £500.

The court was told the defendant has been absent from school since the alleged incident.

It was heard that following a disciplinary meeting, the defendant was to be suspended for one week but allowed back to school after this.

But a police officer raised concerns, given that the alleged victim also attends the school.

The defendant's solicitor said she would contact the Education Authority for clarity on the matter.

The defendant was released on bail citing that he should not enter the grounds of Larne Grammar School, should not contact witnesses nor the complainant, should engage with his GP and social services, and should reside at his home address.

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