Belfast man 'in threat to chop up uncle'

Published Tuesday, 18 March 2014
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A Belfast man has been released on bail after appearing in court accused of stabbing his uncle in the neck with a broken vodka bottle and threatening to "chop him up".

Belfast man 'in threat to chop up uncle'
The accused has been released on bail. (© UTV)

On Tuesday, the High Court heard prosecution claims that 33-year-old Paul Smith attacked his uncle after being thrown out of his home in the west of the city last month, in a drink-fuelled row.

Smith, from Cúchulainn House, denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent, making threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.

The court heard that his uncle had received 15 stitches and staples for wounds to his neck and ear, which were said to have been inflicted during the alleged attack on 2 February.

According to the prosecution, he was unable to tell police who had stabbed him, but made a statement the following day in which he named Smith.

He threatened that he was going to chop up his uncle and his girlfriend, although there's no charge in relation to the girlfriend.

Prosecution

It was put to the court and presiding judge Mr Justice O'Hara that the two men had been drinking heavily before the accused began to row with his girlfriend and with his uncle.

The prosecution claimed that he had been asked to leave, but that he later returned and carried out the attack.

"The applicant is alleged to have lifted an empty vodka bottle, hit him (his uncle) over the head, and stabbed him in the neck with the broken bottle," a prosecution lawyer said.

Mr Justice O'Hara was told that another uncle was also present, but that he has not made a statement to police.

A defence lawyer stressed to the court that Smith denies any involvement in the incident.

His instructions are that he simply wasn't there, that he was at his flat and this has nothing to do with him.

Defence

Having questioned the alleged facts put forward by the prosecution, Smith's defence also expressed surprise that no forensic examination was carried out.

"It's not clear whether the bottle apparently used has been seized," he added.

"That would have been a reservoir of forensic evidence."

Granting bail for Smith to live in the city's New Lodge, the judge banned him entering the lower Falls Road area and from going near his uncle's home.

He also ordered the accused to seek medical treatment for alcohol issues.

© UTV News
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