Northern Ireland news

Man allegedly beaten and stabbed following remark about the Traveller community

The High Court in Belfast

A MAN was allegedly stabbed, beaten with a hammer and thrown off a first-floor balcony following a remark about the Traveller community, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors claimed he plunged 15ft when a row over suspected language at his flat in Newry turned violent.

New details emerged as a 16-year-old boy charged with the man's attempted murder applied for bail.

The youth, who cannot be named, also faces counts of possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and having cannabis.

Police discovered the injured man lying under a first floor balcony at Cleary Crescent in the early hours of May 29 last year.

Blood was dripping onto the ground from the flat above.

The man sustained head injuries, knife wounds, a punctured lung and cracked ribs.

According to the prosecution he had been attacked by the teenage defendant, another youth and a man who spent the evening drinking in the apartment.

He was allegedly hit several times on the back of the head after challenging the oldest accused about taking medication from his kitchen cupboard.

A Crown lawyer said: "The injured party further clarified an argument erupted over terminology used to refer to members of the Traveller community."

One of the trio stabbed him with a steak knife while the other two repeatedly beat him with a hammer and a knife before he was thrown over the balcony, it was claimed.

Bail had been granted to the 16-year-old last month, but he was returned to custody for breaching a curfew at his children's home.

Opposing his bid to be released again, the prosecutor expressed concerns about his links to illicit substances.

A defence barrister insisted the teenager had not re-offended or tried to flee while out on bail.

Adjourning the application, however, Mrs Justice Keegan urged agencies dealing with him to devise a plan before she decides whether to grant bail once more.

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