Boys referred to 'youth conference' over Antrim racist abuse video

The online video showed youths harassing a Romanian woman, with one appearing to throw a stone at her
Brendan Hughes

THREE teenage boys are to take part in a restorative justice process over a Facebook video showing them racially abusing a Romanian woman in Antrim.

The footage caused widespread outrage in October when it emerged of the youths harassing the woman, with one appearing to throw a stone her.

When she asks why they do not respect girls, they reply: "You are not a girl... You're an immigrant and you shouldn't be in this country."

At the time police reported three boys – two aged 15 and a 16-year-old – to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) over the recording.

The youths have been prosecuted for the offence of disorderly behaviour, and are being dealt with by way of a 'diversionary youth conference'.

A youth conference is a formal restorative process and, although not a conviction, is recorded on an individual's criminal record for two-and-a-half years.

The process can in some cases involve the offender coming face-to-face with their victim, who is given the opportunity explain the impact the offence.

Facilitated by a youth justice agency co-ordinator, an agreement is also reached on what the offender should do to make amends.

The Facebook video was heavily criticised at the time, with Dublin-based organisation Romanians in Ireland describing the footage as "disgraceful".

Two of the boys' mothers said they were "absolutely disgusted" by the recording.

One told how she handed her son in to the PSNI and brought him to visit the Romanian woman and apologise.

The Romanian victim said that while she was scared at the time, she would not be leaving Northern Ireland.


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