Northern Ireland news

Footage of teenager being stabbed and bitten at a controversial north Belfast bonfire 'posted on social media'

Laganside Court Belfast .Pic Hugh Russell.

FOOTAGE of a teenager being stabbed and bitten at a controversial north Belfast bonfire was posted on social media, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors claimed last month's stabbing, which left the victim with a collapsed lung, appeared on Facebook after being recorded by a bystander.

As a judge granted bail to one of two men accused of the attack in the New Lodge estate, he expressed shock that the material featured online.

Caolan Donnelly (21) of Cliftonville Drive in the city, denies two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon with intent.

The charges relate to knife attacks on an uncle and nephew in the early hours of August 9, as large crowds gathered to watch an anti-internment bonfire.

The older alleged victim claimed he was attacked over a year-old dispute, the court heard.

He sustained superficial stab wounds to his arm and hip.

Police were then informed his 18-year-old nephew had been taken to hospital for treatment to a collapsed lung and an injury to his jaw.

Prosecution counsel Laura Ievers said what the teenager claimed appears to be backed up by a video recording taken by a bystander.

She claimed clothing links Donnelly to the attack carried out by a man wearing a dark Puffa-style jacket.

But during exchanges the judge pointed to apparent uncertainty over who actually wielded the knife.

Defence barrister Sean Devine insisted nothing has been produced to link Donnelly to the stabbing.

Granting bail, Mr Justice McAlinden said there was nothing to connect the defendant with direct involvement in the attack at this stage.

Stressing that he will review his decision in six weeks to check if any further evidence has emerged, the judge added: "The last thing that should be happening in our society is that a person wielding a knife should be at liberty."

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