Alcohol poured on girl’s face during ‘sustained and vicious’ attack, court hears

Lawyers for suspected instigator of attack claim she and victim ‘have been in fights many times’

 

A 16-year-old girl repeatedly punched and kicked in a “vicious” attack filmed and then posted online had been deliberately lured to the scene, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

Prosecutors claimed the victim was held down and had alcohol poured over her face, leaving her fearing she was choking during the sustained beating in Bangor, Co Down.

Details emerged as an 18-year-old woman police suspect to be the main instigator in last Friday’s assault applied for bail.

Cora Campbell, from English Street in Downpatrick, is charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent. A 17-year-old boy and another girl aged 16 are accused of the same offence.

The injured party was attacked after two people came to meet her at the marina in the seaside town, the court heard on Wednesday.

A Crown lawyer said: “Police believe that the injured party was deliberately lured to this location by a number of individuals, including this applicant.”

It was claimed Campbell grabbed her by the hair and started punching her after asking: “Do you want to go now, big girl?”

She allegedly threw the victim to the ground, got on top and pinned her down as further blows to the face were inflicted.

“The injured party recalled that a co-defendant came over and poured alcohol on her face while the assault was happening,” the prosecutor continued.

“She felt as though she was choking.”

Another accused then allegedly banged her head off the ground while she was being punched and kicked to the face.

Although she managed to get up, the prosecution contended that Campbell dragged her back down.

She eventually began walking away, only to be assaulted again by having her head ducked into a fountain as she struggled to breathe, it was alleged.

Prosecution counsel said the girl realised the attack was being filmed. Footage was later shared on Facebook.

“The video shows a sustained and vicious assault carried out by two female defendants, one of whom is this applicant,” the barrister submitted.

During police interviews Campbell said there were “issues” between her and the injured girl.

She claimed that after drinking a large amount of vodka and seeing the victim “the red mist came down”, the court was told.

The Crown lawyer added: “She admitted punching, kicking and slamming the injured party’s head off the ground.

“However, she said that she believes she did not cause a lot of damage.”

Defence counsel Conor O’Kane raised an issue with how the incident has been reported.

“The way this has been portrayed in the media is that my client is a certain type of person and the injured party is a different type of person,” he said.

“These people know each other very well, they have been in fights many times.”

He also claimed a photo posted on the alleged victim’s Facebook account earlier this year depicts her with a tagging device on her leg.

Following submissions Mr Justice McCloskey adjourned the bail application to a later date.