Northern Ireland news

PSNI spoke to stab victim days before murder over abuse and threats, friend claims

Tributes have been paid to murder victim Aidan Mann who was stabbed to death in Downpatrick
Connla Young

POLICE were contacted by knife victim Aidan Mann twice after he complained he was verbally abused and threatened just days before he was brutally murdered.

The 28-year-old, who was originally from Bangor in Co Down, was stabbed to death in Downpatrick on Monday.

The victim was attacked at about 11am on Church Street, having just left his flat, which is nearby.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 36-year-old man has been charged with the murder. He will appear before Newtownards Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning. 

A witness later said the weapons used were two large butcher-style blades.

Also known as Zen Black, Mr Mann was a well known tattoo artist.

A friend claimed police visited Mr Mann's flat and spoke with him at least twice on New Year's Eve after he reported being abused by a neighbour.

Mr Mann's close friend and work colleague, Damian Scott last night said the ink artist had been verbally abused an threatened.

"Aidan had actually contacted me several times....and I had advised him to ring the police," he said.

After police left, Mr Scott said his friend rang him a second time because the abuse was continuing and that Mr Mann was "quite scared".

Mr Scott said officers returned to Mr Mann's flat and also spoke to the person alleged to have made the abusive remarks before leaving.

Mr Scott says he feels "very angry" that no action was taken by police.

"It could have all be prevented on that day," he said.

Mr Scott spoke of Mr Mann's love of water and revealed how he lived on a boat in Bangor Marina during the first lockdown.

He later lived with Mr Scott and his partner Lou Franklin, the owner of the Sailors and Scoundrels Tattoo Studio in Newtownards where he worked, before moving to Downpatrick late last year.

Mr Scott described his friend as "one of the most humble people you would ever meet" and the "type of guy who would have done anything for you".

"We just want Aidan to be remembered for the nice gentle soul that he was, how helping and compassionate he was for everyone else.

"He would have taken the time of day to talk to you about anything and everything.

"We want him to be remembered as well for the art, the style of tattooing he specialised in, that no-one else did within the country."

Mr Scott said his friend had many talents.

"He was more than just a colleague, he was part of our family, he lived with us, he was like a brother," he added.

"It's not right what happened."

The PSNI was contacted for a response.

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