Northern Ireland news

Man facing charges linked to 'machete attack' granted bail

Laganside Court in Belfast

A MAN who allegedly carried out a machete attack in west Belfast as part of an escalating family feud has been granted High Court bail.

Martin Ward (46) is accused of trying to murder the other man after a teenage accomplice had refused to "cut him to bits".

A judge ruled he can be released from custody to live at an address outside the city.

Ward, of Glasvey Close in the Twinbrook area, was arrested after police were called to the scene of the incident in the middle of a roundabout on September 14.

The victim was said to have sustained wounds to his head and back.

According to police the alleged attack is linked to tensions between two families.

Ward's daughter and the other man's son have a child together, but have fallen out over access to the infant.

The victim was allegedly targeted on the Stewartstown Road after getting out of his car to confront Ward and a 17-year-old male travelling together in another vehicle.

During an altercation at Michael Ferguson roundabout the teenager punched the man in the face, according to the prosecution.

It was claimed that Ward urged him to "get the machete, cut him to bits".

But when those instructions were ignored the defendant allegedly retrieved the blade himself, chased the other man and struck him on the head, inflicting a 4cm laceration.

Ward faces charges of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

During interviews he claimed the machete was in his vehicle because he had been gardening.

He stated that he was under pressure due to the ongoing family feud and lost his temper.

He admitted chasing the other man, but insisted that he never intended to kill him.

Defence solicitor Adrian Harvey told a previous court that when Ward saw the blood he stopped.

Granting bail, Lord Justice Treacy ordered the accused to live under curfew at an address outside the Belfast and Dunmurry areas.

The judge also prohibited any contact with the injured man, and ruled that a £5,000 cash surety must be lodged in court.

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Northern Ireland news