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PROVOS IN THE DOCK: Markets boy, 13, targeted.

Byline: GRAHAM BARDGETT

PROVO pals of the gang that killed Robert McCartney were behind threats against a 13-year-old boy, a court heard yesterday.

The juvenile court was told the boy, who is from the Markets area of South Belfast, cannot return home because of the IRA threat but that health chiefs cannot find a safe bed for him.

Officials from the South and East Belfast Trust are trying to find secure accommodation for the child, who is facing charges of criminal damage and attempting to steal a car radio.

His mother told the court she feared he would be dealt with by the IRA if he returned home.

She said: "Two police officers called to my house and said he was on an IRA punishment list. He was 12 at the time."

And she added the crimes he is currently accused of were much worse than the offences that had brought about the IRA threat.

An official from the Trust said the case highlighted a severe shortage of secure accommodation.

He told the court the boy has been in four foster homes in the past six days as efforts were being made to find a permanent placement.

The judge remanded the teenager on continuing bail to return again next Wednesday.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2005
Words:210
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