Man suffered dislocated shoulder trying to stop three intruders, court hears
A MAN suffered a dislocated shoulder trying to stop three intruders with a knife breaking into his north Belfast home, a court has heard.
Police claimed he was dragged into the Antrim Road flat on Saturday night and attacked by men declaring they were from "Action Against Drugs".
One of the alleged raiders, Paul Austin, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court accused of aggravated burglary, possession of an offensive weapon with intent, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The 27-year-old, of Vicinage Park in the city, denies the charges and claims he was visiting the victim for other reasons.
Opposing bail, a detective said the incident is being linked to a drugs debt.
Austin allegedly turned up at the flat with two other men demanding money and attempting to get inside.
The defendant knows the man who lives there through meeting on a drugs rehabilitation course, the court heard.
One of the other suspects allegedly produced a large knife and pointed it at the victim, shouting "Action Against Drugs".
District Judge Amanda Henderson was told the occupant tried to close the front door, but was forced back and fell to the floor, dislocating his shoulder.
The intruders then dragged him inside, pinned him down and demanded money before searching the property, it was claimed.
Police in the area were flagged down after a woman inside the flat climbed out a window to seek help.
The court heard officers chased and caught Austin, while the other two men managed to escape and have yet to be detained.
Defence solicitor Rosie Kinnear said the accused does not know either of them.
"His case is that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," she added.
"He went to visit the injured party about a different matter, and as he was waiting these other two gentlemen appeared."
Bail was refused due to the risk of interference with witnesses or the investigation.
Judge Henderson pointed out: "There are two potential co-accused still at large."
She remanded Austin in custody to appear again by video-link next month.