Northern Ireland news

Man (29) remanded into custody accused of stabbing stranger in east Belfast

Kyle Swift appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday

A 29-year-old man was remanded into custody yesterday accused of stabbing a stranger in the back in east Belfast.

Kyle Swift appeared at the city's Magistrates Court on charges connected to a knife attack on the Belmont Road on October 31.

Swift, of Dundela Avenue in Belfast, is charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to the other man. He also faces a further count of possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Police said the victim described seeing a man running across the road and swinging his arm at him.

"At that point he realised (the attacker) was holding something shiny," a PSNI officer told the court.

"He soon realised that he had been stabbed in the back."

Swift was identified as the alleged assailant based on CCTV inquiries and a description from a witness.

He was missing for two days before being located and arrested, according to police.

Opposing bail, the officer claimed: "This was an unprovoked attack on an innocent member of the public who was unknown to (the defendant)."

Swift denies stabbing anyone or having a knife at any stage.

Defence lawyer Darren Duncan told the court his client accepts making a purchase at an off-licence in the area.

"He makes the case that he was not involved in any attack in the locality thereafter," the solicitor stressed.

Mr Duncan also argued that the medical evidence suggests no deep injuries were inflicted.

"This was a break to the skin," he contended.

Refusing bail, however, District Judge Mark McGarrity cited the risk of potential re-offending.

He remanded Swift in custody, to appear again in four weeks time.

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Northern Ireland news