Northern Ireland news

Victim of aggravated burglary suffered a heart attack, court told

Laganside courthouse in Belfast

A man allegedly beaten with a 'flick stick' when intruders broke into his Co Antrim home has suffered a heart attack, a court has heard.

Police claimed he was attacked with the weapon after trying to barricade himself into a bedroom at the flat in Burney's Mews, Newtownabbey.

He sustained lacerations to his head and a broken wrist during last Friday night's alleged assault.

A detective also revealed that he remains in hospital following a heart attack which medical staff believe was due to the trauma of his injuries.

Details emerged as a man and woman appeared in the dock accused of the attack.

Matthew Henderson, 33, of Ballyvesey Park, Newtownabbey, and 21-year-old Hannah Lee, from Ellis Street in Carrickfergus, are jointly charged with aggravated burglary inflicting grievous bodily harm while armed with a bat, and possessing cannabis.

Henderson faces further counts of burglary and causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the same incident.

The court heard the assault was launched after two men and a woman allegedly kicked their way into the victim's flat.

He claims that he hid in a bedroom, pushing a set of drawers against the door in a bid to stop anyone from reaching him.

But at least one intruder managed to get through the barricade, took a flick stick the victim had produced for self-defence and used it to inflict "quite a beating," according to police.

Eventually the man got to a neighbour's house, from where he was taken to hospital.

Lee, who is not suspected of carrying out the actual physical assault, was granted bail on conditions including a ban on entering the Glengormey area.

Setting out the perceived background to the attack, the detective said it is being linked to an alleged incident between Lee and the complainant last summer.

"She informed Mr Henderson of this on Friday, he immediately decided he was going to go round and speak to the injured party and she came along with him," he told the court.

"According to the account of the injured party, he (Henderson) brought with him a bat he described as a rounders bat."

Henderson was refused bai. District Judge Mark Hamill remanded him in custody to appear again by video-link on February 11

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