Youths 'organising sectarian fights', court told

Teenagers are organising sectarian fights in a County Londonderry town centre, a court has heard.

Police said the trouble near Coleraine railway station could result in someone being seriously injured or worse.

In one incident, captured on CCTV, a person fell onto the railway line after being repeatedly punched and kicked.

Details emerged as an 18-year-old man appeared before Coleraine Magistrates' Court sitting in Belfast charged over two separate incidents.

Jonathan Neill, of Westbourne Crescent in the town, faces two counts each of disorderly behaviour and fighting and making an affray.

The alleged offences were committed at Bridge Street and Railway Street on 1 and 13 June.


Opposing bail, a PSNI officer told the court the case was part of an investigation into the trouble.

"A number of young males aged approximately 18 are organising sectarian fights," he said.

"It was a problem two years ago and has now raised its ugly head again."

He claimed the 13 June incident involved Mr Neill punching and kicking another youth up to eight times.

The alleged victim then fell onto the railway line.

A defence lawyer said that the accused has not been charged with assault.

He also challenged the decision to bring affray charges.

The court heard police searches for other suspects identified on the CCTV footage are ongoing.

District Judge Bernadette Kelly raised the possibility of Mr Neill making contacting with them before they are detained.

On that basis she adjourned the bail application until Monday.

Mr Neill was remanded in custody to appear in court again by video-link.