Northern Ireland news

Break-in and stabbing: Man sentenced to five years

A man and a woman have been sentenced for their part in a break-in and attack in September 2015

A 25-YEAR-OLD man who broke into a flat in west Belfast and stabbed a woman twice in the leg has been handed a five-and-a-half-year sentence.

McMenemy, of Finn House on Victoria Parade in Belfast, appeared along with mother-of-five Charlene Mitchell (37), from Russell Court in the city, over the break-in on September 13 2015.

Belfast Crown Court heard that before burglary at Dungloe Crescent, a youth linked to Mitchell and McMenemy, who has already been dealt with in the Juvenile Court, rang a woman living in the flat and warned there was going to be a fight.

The youth, McMenemy and Mitchell later arrived outside the flat and McMenemy - who was armed with a knife - smashed a window with a brick.

The court heard there were conflicting witness statements because people in the flat had earlier taken cannabis and cocaine.

However, it emerged that Mitchell pushed the female occupant and attacked her.

McMenemy also stabbed the woman on her right knee and thigh.

The flat was also badly damaged.

The day after the break-in, two men called at Mitchell's home and stabbed her in the stomach, the court heard.

Her injuries were so severe that her gall bladder and half of her pancreas was removed and she was fitted with a pacemaker.

Both defendants initially denied any involvement but later admitted aggravated burglary with intent to do unlawful damage.

McMenemy also admitted wounding the woman with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm.

Jailing the pair, Judge Geoffrey Miller QC told McMenemy he will serve half his sentence in prison, while Mitchell was handed a sentence of two years and five months, suspended for three years.

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