Facebook row 'led to stabbing'

Published Monday, 10 February 2014
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A row on Facebook led to a man being stabbed in north Belfast, a court has heard.

Facebook row 'led to stabbing'
The scene of the stabbing. (© UTV)

Stewart Mercer allegedly used a kitchen knife to inflict a chest wound on Darren Scott after the victim arrived at his home early on Sunday.

Mercer, of Glenbyrn Park in the city, faces charges of wounding with intent to grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon with intent.

The 23-year-old accused was refused bail amid fears of possible interference with witnesses.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard Mercer lives close to the injured man and others who were at the scene.

Opposing bail, a detective constable said: "This whole incident stemmed from a Facebook argument between some parties involved and initiated by the defendant.

"There was a background of bad blood before this started."

The officer also claimed Mercer's self-restraint could be impaired by drug addiction.

Following arrest he told police he had a dependency on alcohol, cocaine, speed and heroin, the court heard.

Although the detective acknowledged his remarks may have been facetious, he said it was several hours before he was fit for interview.

Under cross-examination it was accepted that Mercer and the alleged victim gave significantly different accounts of what happened.

The accused claims Mr Scott targeted him first after arriving with others in two cars and kicking his door in.

A defence solicitor said: "It's accepted this wasn't a slash or overhead stabbing attack (by Mercer).

"It appears to be a jab with a knife underarm, which he says was a result of Mr Scott swinging a metal baseball bat at him and his partner.

"This is not a situation where Mercer has taken himself outside his property and it's a stabbing in the street."

But refusing the bail application, District Judge Fiona Bagnall also cited the risk of re-offending.

Mercer was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on 10 March.

© UTV News
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