Northern Ireland news

Man (21) jailed for stabbing outside flats in north Belfast

A 21-year-old who stabbed a man four times outside a block of flats in north Belfast following a fist-fight has been jailed for a year.

The victim was stabbed three times in the body and once in the head by Patrick John Deeney, who the court heard left the scene of a fight but returned a short time later armed with a knife.

The stabbed man's girlfriend, who was 17 at the time, was also assaulted by Deeney who pulled her to the ground by the hair.

Telling Deeney, from Antrim Road, that the offences were very serious, Judge Patricia Smyth said he would spend 12 months in custody followed by a two-year period on licence.

The stabbing happened outside flats in the Queen Victoria Gardens area on March 4 2017.

A party was being held in one of the flats, and when the occupant asked the revellers to keep the noise down, some of them left the party and stood in the stairwell.

An argument then ensued, with Deeney and the other man becoming involved in a fight.

Deeney left the scene briefly, but returned and said "come and fight me again". The court heard punches were thrown, and then the injured party felt an 'incredible pain' to his right side.

He put his hand up his top, found it was covered in blood, then felt a bang from behind on his head.

The court was told he managed to go home but collapsed and his mother called an ambulance.

The young victim suffered a punctured lung and required staples for the head wound.

Deeney returned to the party where he changed his clothes. He was arrested walking from the rear of the flats, and a blood-stained knife was later recovered.

During sentencing at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Smyth told Deeney that his pleas to wounding, assaulting the man's girlfriend and possessing a knife had spared the injured man the ordeal of giving evidence.

Noting that Deeney has 40 previous convictions, she also said that whilst on remand he had used his time wisely by engaging in courses to address his addictions and working as a bricklayer.

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