Northern Ireland

North Belfast man 'accepts responsibility' for attempted murder of father, court hears

Sean Sebastian Colligan (20) appeared at Belfast Crown Court
Sean Sebastian Colligan (20) appeared at Belfast Crown Court

A NORTH Belfast man "accepts responsibility'' for the attempted murder of his father, a court has heard.

Sean Sebastian Colligan (20) appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video-link from Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre for an arraignment hearing on seven charges he faced.

Colligan, formerly of Castleton Gardens, entered pleas of not guilty to attempting to murder his father John Colligan and aggravated burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm while armed with a knife.

He further denied charges of attempted hijacking, possessing a knife in a public place, threats to kill and two counts of common assault.

All the offences are alleged to have taken place on December 12, 2021.

Defence counsel Des Fahy KC told Belfast Recorder Judge Patricia Smyth: "Mr Colligan accepts responsibility for the charges he is alleged to have committed.

"It is extremely unlikely that a trial will be required and the witnesses on the depositions will not be required to give evidence.

"I can tell the court that this defendant has a very significant mental health background. He has autism and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)'."

Mr Fahy added that the defendant could have been suffering from a "psychotic episode during the commission of these offences'' and the defence were seeking reports from two medical experts who will examine Colligan while in custody.

Judge Smyth agreed not to set a trial date and said the case would be reviewed in four weeks.