Orangeman deliberately drove into crowd at Ardoyne flashpoint.
It took the Belfast Crown Court jury of eight women and four men almost three hours, during two days of deliberation, to reach their majority verdicts and convict 63-year-old John Alexander Aughey of the charges arising from the collision close to the Ardoyne shops on 13 July 2015.
All Orange marches should come to cease
Twice during their deliberations the jury informed the court they could not reach unanimous verdicts, before delivering their majority 11-to-one guilty verdicts on each of the six charges which Aughey from Brae Hill Park in north Belfast, had denied.
She was trapped under the wheels of his red Nissan Pulsar, fracturing her pelvis, ankle and collarbone.
Jurors, some of whom gasped on being shown a video of the moment she was flung onto the bonnet, and under the car, heard she spent two weeks in hospital after undergoing a five-hour emergency operation on her shattered pelvis.
However, before striking her, Aughey had also stuck and injured a community representative and two other civilians, before also injuring two police officers.
Police who had run forward to stop Aughey’s car, described seeing the teenage girl being struck in the back by the bonnet of the car before disappearing under the car’s front wheels which “rose up” as it did so. During his nine-day trial over three weeks, Aughey claimed he was driving home after marching earlier that day and had made his “U-Turn” manoeuver taking him into the crowd “in a blind panic”, after believing his car had come under attack.
He maintained he had not driven deliberately at the crowd, making the case that as he sat in traffic he became aware of abuse and shouting coming from the nationalist protestors.
He said that after missiles hit his car and his wing mirror was kicked, he tried to perform a u-turn to get back down the road “to the safety” of police lines.
When asked why he didn’t just get out of the car and walk a matter of yards to a police land rover, Aughey said: “If I had got out of the car it would have been tantamount to suicide.”
Claiming he heard someone shout ‘get him, don’t let the b****** get away’, he said that “scared me even more because I realised then how vulnerable I was to attack”.
“To me that was chilling and knocked me into a blind panic. I thought the crowd would get me and drag me out of the car or damage me while I was sitting in the car”.
However, these claims were ‘rubbished’ by prosecution barrister Neil Connor QC, who accused him of not only lying to police two years ago, but also of lying to the court.
Mr Connor said the issue was a simple one, in which Aughey had driven his car in a manner which was dangerous and which fell far short of what would have been expected from a competent and careful driver.
Following their verdicts trial, Judge Patricia Smyth praised the jury for dealing with what she described as “probably being one of the most difficult trials that any jury in Northern Ireland has been asked to decide upon”.
Thanking them for their time and deliberation without “complaint”, she excused them from further jury service for life if they wanted.
Then freeing Aughey on continuing bail until after the summer recess in August, Judge Smyth told him that should not be taken “as an indication of the sentence the court will pass in due course”.
John Aughey, pictured here with DUP North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds, is a religious fundamentalist who as a member of a supremacist organisation sees those of a different faith to be inferior and sub-human.
To demonstrate this false sense of superiority, John Aughey deliberately drove his car at a crowd of Ardoyne residents and almost killed a teenage girl, Phoebe Clawson. Today he was found guilty of a number of criminal offences, before unbelievably being released on continuing bail until after this year’s 12th July.
However the questions that should be asked include why was he not charged under the “Terrorism Act” like other religious fundamentalists who engage in violence against civilians? Where was the same non-jury Diplock Court for John Aughey that regularly condemns Republicans to years imprisoned in Maghaberry?
His attitude is the norm amongst Loyal Orders, and is one of the main reasons residents reject their triumphalist marches through our community.
By Jane Loughrey
The teenage girl who was struck by a car in Ardoyne in north Belfast almost two years ago sobbed as she recounted to police how she thought she was going to die, as she lay trapped underneath it.
Phoebe Clawson’s evidence was heard at the trial of an Orangeman who is accused of running over her and of injuring five other people, including two police officers.
John Aughey denies six charges, including one of causing grievous injury to Phoebe Clawson, who was 16 years old at the time.
The 63-year-old from Brae Hill Park in Belfast is accused of driving into the crowd in Ardoyne who had gathered in what the prosecution described as an atmosphere of high tension at the flashpoint on 13 July 2015.
John Aughey claims he feared for his life after his car was kicked and a plastic bottle was thrown at it and said he was attempting to escape from a dangerous and escalating situation.
On Thursday afternoon, the trial heard an interview from Phoebe Clawson which was recorded by police in her home a month later.
In it Phoebe, who was in a wheelchair, described how she saw John Aughey reversing his car and putting down the window of his car as if to scare someone.
She said people started running and she ran too, but she didn’t really know what was going on, then she said the car struck her from behind and she was trapped underneath.
At this point she started weeping and sobbing, saying: “I was trying to move. A wheel was near my head. If it went over me one more time I would have been dead.”
Phoebe continued describing how police officers lifted the car to free her. She said: “I started squealing, I was scared. I thought I was going to die.”
Then she related how a priest came over and told her everything was going to be okay, and said she was shouting at him to “get my mummy”.
The police constable was heard asking her about her injuries and she said she suffered a shattered pelvis, fractured ankle and collar, was in hospital for two weeks had surgery that lasted five-and-a-half hours
When further asked how she was feeling she replied: “Useless”.
Under cross-examination from the defence QC, she said she remembered seeing a plastic bottle hitting the windscreen of John Aughey’s car but didn’t see anyone approach his car beforehand.
Earlier, Phoebe Clawson had described John Aughey as laughing in the car but the defence suggested far from laughing or smiling, he was extremely worried about what was going to happen to him.
The jury was also shown police CCTV footage of the moment the car struck Phoebe Clawson.
Some of them gasped out loud and one juror clasped her hand over her mouth.
Judge Smyth told the jury that it was not the prosecution case, nor have they alleged that the defendant caused any of these injuries deliberately.
The trial continues on Friday morning, when the jury will hear evidence via a live link-up from Australia, for another teenager who was also injured.
SO WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT WITH THE TUV, DUP AND ORANGE ORDER???
LOYALIST band give prize to very young teenager in KU KLUX KLAN (KKK) uniform. The Lanarkshire Loyalist Flute Band celebrated “Hallowen/Culture party on Saturday – at premises belonging to the local council.
The photograph above from the event shows an unidentified man in white robes and a pointed hood complete with the KKK’s symbol on the chest.
He is being presented with a plaque from a woman, also unidentified, under the caption’ ” Craigneuk Imperial Ladies Flute Band”, from North Lanarkshire.
Orange bands’ historic link to Glasgow Klan
A HIGH profile Scottish loyalist who took part in Twelfth marches in Belfast in the 1930s, went on to start a branch of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in Glasgow. Billy Fullerton led a notorious gang, the Brighton Boys, whose signature tune was The Billy Boys an infamous sectarian song which was associated with the
Orange Order and Rangers Football Club. The song which includes the line: “we’re up to our knees in Fenian blood”, was banned from football grounds by the Scottish government in 2011.
Born in Brighton area of Glasgow, Fullerton formed the Brighton Billy Boys, an anti-Catholic gang from Bridgeton Cross, in 1924. At its height, the gang had 800 members.
According to reports, Fullerton led the Brighton Purple and Crown Flute Band which marched during the Twelfth in Belfast in the 1930s.
When the Billy Boys went into decline in the late 1930s, Billy Fullerton joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists and went on to start a Glasgow branch of the Ku Klux Klan.
“I suppose the Orange Order and the Loyal Order’s with their history going back to 1690 forgot to mention that little bit of history with the KKK”!
‘BIZARRE THAT TARGETS SHOULD RISE PREDICTABLY TO BAIT’
Irish News cartoonist Ian Knox, a long-standing friend of artist Joe McWilliams who died last month, gives his views on the controversy.
What a shame Joe couldn’t hang around long enough to enjoy the effect his great Christian Flutists had on his chosen target. I can only look on with envy. It’s bizarre too that the Orange and TUV targets should rise in such a predictably brain-dead manner to the bait. A little checking by those protectors of public space, who love to live in the past (1690), would have shown the Orange marching bands have clearly documented links to the setting up of the first British section of the Ku Kux Klan back in Glasgow in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
The culprit was notorious black shirt strike-breaker and drummer in the Brighton Purple and Crown Orange marching Band. Billy Fullerton. Fullerton, rather than William of Orange, was a frequent Twelfth visitor to Belfast and the “Billy” of the notorious Brighton Boys who terrorised Catholics, Jews, Trade Unionists and any foreign nationals unfortunate to end up in the sectarian cauldron of 1930s Glasgow.
“I honestly don’t see the difference between 1930s Orange Order and that of 2015 they are still bigots who hate a Catholic about the place” Kevin.