Willie Frazer remanded over Union flag protests

Friday 01 March 2013 23.40
Willie Frazer was remanded in custody
Willie Frazer was remanded in custody

Leading loyalist activist Willie Frazer has appeared in court on charges linked to the ongoing Union flag protests.

He was remanded in custody after police objected on the grounds there was a risk of him re-offending.

The 52-year-old was charged with addressing an un-notified public assembly in Belfast city centre, taking part in an illegal parade and possession of a Taser stun gun.

When told he could apply for bail in the High Court, Mr Frazer said, "No thanks Your Honour, I'd rather stay in jail."

Around 20 supporters applauded as he was led from the dock.

One man who unfurled a small Union flag in the courtroom was ejected by officials.

Later police arrested another prominent loyalist flags protester.

Jim Dowson, a former British National Party (BNP) fundraiser, 48, was detained in east Belfast and is being questioned on suspicion of offences linked to the ongoing flags demonstrations.

A protest was held outside Belfast City Hall this afternoon.