Northern Ireland news

Man (49) charged with attempted murder after pre-arranged east Belfast fist-fight ends in stabbing

Daniel Irvine, from Tower Street in Belfast, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court via a videolink charged with attempted murder

A 49-year old accused of attempting to murder a man during a pre-arranged fight in east Belfast has been refused bail.

A policeman who objected to Daniel Irvine being released on bail branded the weekend incident "callous" and told the court: "This could very easily been a murder we are dealing with."

The injured party suffered "multiple" stab wounds - including a six-inch wound which punctured his lung - and is in a stable condition in hospital.

Mr Irvine, from Tower Street in Belfast, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court via a videolink charged with attempting to murder another man on July 18 and possessing a knife with intent to commit murder.

The court heard that police believe he brought a knife to a pre-arranged fist-fight at a church which was attended by a number of people and, following a verbal altercation between the two men, a fight broke out on Pearl Street at the junction of My Lady's Road.

The PSNI officer told the court the injured party "may have come armed with a hammer" and afterwards Mr Irvine "fled the scene on foot" before calling 999 saying he was injured.

He was arrested in nearby Jocelyn Avenue where he "left the knife to one side."

The policeman said a medic believed the injured man was "lucky to be alive" as the knife "narrowly missed" a main valve to the heart in a wound "recklessly inflicted to the chest".

The court heard Mr Irvine gave a "full account" during police interview, citing self-defence and claiming he was struck on the head with the hammer.

The policeman said the pre-arranged fight was over a hug the other man had given a 14-year old girl, which Mr Irvine believed was "creepy".

His solicitor Andrew Russell said Mr Irvine suffered wounds to his eye and shoulder and "can barely walk due to a foot injury."

He told the court the injured party who issued the challenge of the fist-fight and said there is no evidence that he brought a knife, repeating that his client was attacked first with the hammer.

The district judge refused bail and remanded Irvine into custody

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Northern Ireland news