Three charged after assault on girl (16) posted on social media
Victim’s facial injuries are so severe she cannot immediately have an x-ray
A teenage girl was seriously injured during an alleged assault in Bangor, Co Down on Friday.
Three teenagers have been remanded in custody charged with a “vicious and prolonged” assault which was filmed and then posted on social media.
Eighteen-year-old Cora Campbell, from English Street, Downpatrick, a 17-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before a judge at Downpatrick Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
All three were charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
The 17-year-old was further charged with aiding and abetting grievous bodily harm, and assault.
The charges relate to an alleged incident at Bangor Marina in Co Down on Friday April 20th.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer told the court she believed she could connect all three to the charges.
Describing the alleged assault as “sustained and vicious”, the officer said the injured party told police she had been punched and held down by four people known to her.
A recording, which was posted on Facebook, showed her being punched around 30 times, stamped and kicked to the head and having her head banged on the ground, according to the officer.
She added: “Her head was submerged in a fountain of water, each time for a few seconds.”
The 17-year-old male was “verbally encouraging” the assault and poured a bottle of liquid as the girl lay on the ground, the court heard.
The officer added: “She was shouting, she was struggling, that she could not breathe.”
The court heard that the alleged victim had attended the Ulster Hospital for treatment but severe swelling meant medics were still unable to establish the extent of her injuries.
Bail applications were made by lawyers acting for Ms Campbell and the 16-year-old girl. However, police objections included the risk of re-offending, interfering with witnesses and to protect the defendants’ safety.
Refusing bail, District Judge Amanda Brady said the high-profile case involved a “prolonged and vicious assault on a defenceless victim on the ground.”
The judge said there was a risk of re-offending by both defendants. No bail application was made for the 17-year-old male.
Throughout the hearing the three defendants stood in the small dock separated by prison guards.
They did not communicate with each other but spoke only to confirm that they understood the charges against them.
Ms Campbell’s defence counsel, Conor O’Kane, said she had made a full admission during police interviews.
He said: “My client admits that every act seen on video is her.”
Making his bail application, the barrister said Ms Campbell had been in care since the age of 14.
“She has had a troubled background, to put it mildly,” he said.
She had consumed a “substantial amount of vodka” and the “red mist” descended at the time of the alleged attack, the court heard.
Mr O’Kane said “she happened to come across the injured party”.
“There has been a substantial amount of history between her and the injured party.
“This is not a completely unprovoked incident.”
Meanwhile, solicitor Patrick Higgins, acting for the 16-year-old girl, said she had felt intimidated by the older co-accused.
“Mr [17-year-old]tells my client to get involved.
“She felt threatened by Ms Campbell and [17-year-old].
“She felt she had no choice.
“She is not the person who started this action.”
The lawyer also stated she had “made a full admission” during police interview and apologises for her involvement.
The court had been cleared ahead of the hearing.
Judge Brady said: “I am going to clear the public gallery of anyone not connected with this case.”
All three defendants were remanded in custody to appear at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court via video-link on May 11th.