Belfast rioters warned: be prepared to face special courts within hours
Northern Ireland braces for a third night of disorder, with police and magistrates on standby to work through the night
Special courts have been set up in Northern Ireland to deal with would-be rioters, who have been told they will face a judge within hours of arrest.
After two nights of disorder in Belfast, Stormont’s Justice Minister David Ford issued the stark warning in a bid to curtail any further violence.
A special sitting of Belfast Magistrates' Court is being held on Sunday, and plans have been put in place to keep it open and running late into the night if needed.
Around 35 arrests have been made since riots began at 8.30pm on Friday, but police said they expected to make many more once they have reviewed video footage of incidents.
Almost 40 officers have been injured so far, with petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and other missiles thrown by rioters.
Mr Ford said today: “My message is clear; do not get involved in rioting on our streets, but if you choose to do so, then be prepared to face the courts within hours.
“Sunday courts are in operation, and to young people in particular I would say this: 'Do you want to leave home today with a clean record and by tonight have a criminal record, which could have consequences which will stay with you for the rest of your life?'”
With 400 extra officers deployed in Belfast from across the rest of the UK yesterday, disorder did not reach the same levels as Friday. Seven members of the riot squad were hurt, but none seriously, and all remained on duty.
Trouble first flared up following a protest called by the Orange Order after part of a commemorative parade was banned by the Parades Commission.
When demonstrations turned violent, senior Orangemen asked for calm, but were unable to control the disorder that it is feared will continue tonight.
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words