Man attacked with knife after break-in on Christmas Eve
Victim needed stitches after ear was cut by masked intruder, Belfast court hears
Bail was granted to one of the two suspected assailants at the High Court on Tuesday. File photograph: Collins Courts
He needed numerous stitches for a serious injury inflicted to his ear during the attack in east Belfast, prosecutors said.
A second man was allegedly struck over the head at the property on Castlereagh Street.
Details emerged as bail was granted to one of the two suspected assailants said to have been found hiding under a van in the area.
Michael McMurray (27) with an address at Greenway in Belfast, faces charges of burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and three counts of common assault.
Crown lawyer Kate McKay said one of the alleged victims was hit with a hammer after he answered the door on December 24th. Two men went inside the house and targeted the second victim, she claimed. Ms McKay said the suspects’ faces were exposed when their masks either slipped or were removed during a struggle.
Mr McMurray was identified as the man allegedly carrying the hammer, while his co-accused was named as the man who used the blade to inflict head and facial cuts. The intruders were removed from the house before two women were assaulted in an outside garden, according to the prosecution.
Police called to the scene followed their escape route and located Mr McMurray under a vehicle, the court heard. Ms McKay said officers noted cuts to his face and blood stains on his socks.
Granting Mr McMurray’s application for release from custody, Mr Justice Adrian Colton pointed out that the co-accused obtained police bail. Despite expressing some reservations, the judge said: “There’s potential unfairness in those circumstances.”
He imposed a curfew, electronic tagging and banned Mr McMurray from contacting the alleged victims or co-accused. Mr Justice Colton added: “Nor is he to enter Castlereagh Street in Belfast.”