Samurai sword 'used in family feud'

Published Tuesday, 11 March 2014
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A man was attacked with a samurai sword and knife as part of a feud between two families in Belfast, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Samurai sword 'used in family feud'
The victim was described as being "lucky to be alive". (© UTV)

Martin Heaney suffered stab wounds to his body, arms and legs after being dragged from his home in the middle of the night, prosecutors said.

As one of two men accused of trying to kill him sought bail a judge described it as a "barbaric attack".

William Mongan, 28, of Bleach Green, Belfast, denies charges of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon in public.

He is alleged to have gone to Mr Heaney's home in the Ardoyne area early on 8 September last year armed with a samurai sword.

A co-accused with him at the time had a knife hidden up his sleeve, it was claimed.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said the victim answered a knock on the door and was dragged outside by two masked men. Mr Heaney later claimed to have recognised them as the two accused. All three are members of the Traveller community.

"He said he was pushed to the ground, kicked and punched by both males," Mr Maguire said. "This applicant had a samurai sword and struck the injured party with it."

The second man allegedly stabbed him several times with the knife. According to the prosecution the men shouted that they were going to kill Mr Heaney.

However, his wife and her sister managed to pull him to safety, the court heard.

The attackers then escaped in a Ford Transit van which headed towards Ligoniel. Mr Heaney suffered stab wounds to his chest, abdominal wall, arm and thigh.

Asked by the judge what provoked the alleged attack, Mr Maguire replied: "There was a feud between the families."

Defence counsel Conn O'Neill said Mongan denies the charges and has provided an alibi.

He told the court traffic cameras would have identified his client if he had been involved. Bail was sought on the basis of delay in progressing the case.

Mr Justice Horner heard police have still not obtained a statement from the emergency doctor who treated Mr Heaney at the time.

The judge said no satisfactory explanation for the delay had been provided.

But adjourning the application until next month, he added: "This was a barbaric attack on Mr Heaney by two men, one with a samurai sword and the other with a knife.

"Mr Heaney is lucky to be alive."

© UTV News
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