Northern Ireland news

Scene where man and woman found dead in north Belfast described as 'bloodbath'

Police at the scene at Kinnaird Close in north Belfast. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

A man who witnessed the scene where two people were found dead in north Belfast yesterday described it as a "blood bath".

The bodies of a man and woman were found at a flat in the Kinnaird Close area at around lunchtime.

It is understood they had been drinking with another man when they were stabbed.

The male victim was named locally as Joe Duddy from nearby Antrim Road, while the woman was named as Frances Murray from west Belfast.

A witness at the scene told how a man later claimed he stabbed two people after an argument.

The man was said to have made his way from the flat to Cliftonville Road where he attempted to change out of his blood-stained clothes.

Still holding the handle of a knife, the witness said he also claimed he was going to take his own life and consumed tablets thought to be Pregabalin, also known as Lyrica or 'buds'.

"He had the white handle of a knife in his hand without the blade," the witness said.

"He was foaming at the mouth saying he was going to kill himself, he kept saying they took his money and he wasn't going to let them get away with that.

"He was covered in blood."

The witness said he then went to the Kinnaird Close flat.

"I didn't know if he was telling the truth and wanted to check first. There was blood everywhere, it was a blood bath, I can't believe what I've seen."

The Ambulance Service said it despatched a rapid response vehicle but following "assessment and initial treatment no-one was transferred to hospital".

Police evacuated around 30 residents from the block of flats to preserve the scene and armed response officers supported by the PSNI helicopter attempted to locate the suspect.

A 35-year-old man was arrested as part of the investigation and was being questioned last night.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery confirmed only that police received a report from a member of the public that the bodies of two people had been discovered in a flat at around 12.55pm.

 

"The circumstances of the deaths will now be subject to investigation and post mortem examinations will take place in due course," he said.

"At this stage it would not be appropriate to elaborate further on the circumstances as our enquiries are at an extremely early stage".

 

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said people were "absolutely shocked and deeply upset as news of this tragic and serious incident emerged".

"A few days before Christmas, this is the worst kind of news for any family.

"If anyone has any information please contact the police."

Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee also appealed to the community to do all they can to assist police.

“This tragedy has shocked and saddened the local community," he said.

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