Northern Ireland news

Man (45) remains in custody after 47-year-old man stabbed to death outside Bangor supported living complex

A 47-year-old man was stabbed to death outside a property at Enterprise Court, Bangor, in the early hours of Thursday morning. Picture by Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press

A 45-YEAR-old man remained in custody last night after being arrested in connection with the murder of a man at a "therapeutic and holistic" assisted living complex.

The 47-year-old "gentle giant" was stabbed to death at the Inspire Wellbeing mental health facility off the main Newtownards carriageway on the outskirts of Bangor, Co Down in the early hours of Thursday.

The site has four single-storey buildings with eight residents each and eight individual flats.

The victim, whom police had not named last night, is understood to have been a resident there who worked in a nearby café.

Chief Inspector Trevor Atkinson confirmed that a murder investigation "has been launched".

"The 47 year old was attacked outside a property in Enterprise Court shortly after 1am this morning," he said.

"A 45 year old man was arrested at the scene and remains in custody at present. Anyone with information that could assist the investigation can call 101, quoting reference 61 31/10/19."

The supported housing development is run by Inspire in collaboration with the South Eastern Trust, Choice Housing Association and Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Referrals to the scheme come mainly from the "local community mental health teams", but also from other health professionals.

Independent councillor Ray McKimm said everyone has been "shocked" at news of the brutal attack.

"This is a community of the more vulnerable in our society and they will want to know that they are safe," he said.

Enterprise Court is designed "to promote the mental and physical health of the residents while enabling each to achieve their optimum level of functioning and independence in the community".

It allows resident "to make decisions about their own lives, identify goals and aspirations that are important to them, have equal access to opportunities for volunteering and employment and to achieve what they want in terms of normalisation and improved quality of life".

They are assisted by a `floating support service' which helps with management of finances and medication, as well as "daily living skills, daily activities, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle".

Residents are all aged between 18-65, with a diagnosed mental health condition.

A spokeswoman for Inspire said it is supporting all staff and residents following the tragedy.

"Everyone at Inspire is profoundly sadden by this tragic incident," she said.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of those involved. We are providing ongoing support to staff and residents at Enterprise Court who have been affected by this tragic event.

"The incident is being investigated though all appropriate channels and further enquires at this time are via the PSNI."

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