Northern Ireland news

Man and woman seriously injured by car allegedly driven at them in double attempted murder

Details emerged as Joshua Dowd (30) appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court charged with two counts of attempted murder

A MAN and woman were struck and seriously injured by a car allegedly driven at them in a double attempted murder, a court has heard.

Police claimed they were rammed against the front of a house in north Belfast after the motorist smashed the property's windows and wielded a hockey stick.

The woman sustained several broken bones while the man remains in a wheelchair following the incident at Ashfield Gardens on August 7, a judge was told.

Details emerged as Joshua Dowd appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court charged with two counts of attempted murder.

The 30-year-old bricklayer, from Summerhill Drive in Dunmurry, is further accused of possessing an offensive weapon in public, aggravated burglary with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, criminal damage and aggravated vehicle taking. He denies all the charges.

It was also revealed that Dowd suffered a fractured skull and spent a period in a coma after being allegedly hit with a spade during a struggle at the scene.

An investigating detective claimed the defendant arrived at the home of one of two injured parties in a Mazda SUV, smashed several windows with a brick, retrieved a hockey stick from the vehicle and followed both of them inside.

Dowd tried to hit the other man, according to police, but left the property after he was struck himself and sustained a heavy gash to the head.

"He then drove intentionally at (the man and woman) while they were standing at the front of the home," the detective contended.

"The Mazda collided with them and pushed them against the front of the property."

The woman was left bleeding severely and received first aid treatment at the front of the house.

She subsequently required treatment for her injuries, including a broken pelvis, tailbone and an open leg fracture.

The court was told police intend to speak to the other man about the defendant's injuries, but considered it inappropriate to arrest him because he is currently in a wheelchair.

A video of the incident has circulated online, and witnesses have named Dowd as the alleged driver of the car which collided with the pair.

Opposing bail, the detective said all three individuals had been neighbours and known to each other.

Defence solicitor Owen Beattie argued that Dowd spent nearly eight weeks on police bail, handed himself in on Tuesday and "absolutely denied" the offences during interview.

The lawyer accepted it was "a nasty set of circumstances" but challenged police for not having questioned the complainants.

"Mr Dowd himself suffered very serious injuries. He was in a coma at one stage, he had a fractured skull and a bleed to the brain," Mr Beattie stressed.

"Despite all that, it appears the police have done nothing and sat on their hands."

But refusing bail, District Judge Mark McGarrity cited risk of re-offending.

He remanded Dowd in custody, to appear again by video-link next month.

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