Northern Ireland

Man accused of trying to stab two police officers to death in south Belfast to undergo mental health assessment

Laganside Court in Belfast
Laganside Court in Belfast

A MAN accused of trying to stab two police officers to death in south Belfast is to undergo a mental health assessment, a court has ordered.

Leon Maginn (22) was remanded in custody on Friday charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with an alleged knife attack on the Ormeau Road.

The policemen were said to have been targeted on Wednesday morning as they provided help to a vulnerable member of the public.

One officer stabbed in the throat was millimetres from death, according to the PSNI.

He underwent surgery in hospital where his condition was described as stable.

The other constable sustained a slash wound to his face during the incident.

Maginn, with an address on the Ormeau Road, appeared remotely at Belfast Magistrates’ Court to have the charges put to him.

Asked if he understood the alleged offences, he replied: “Yes.”

A detective constable said he could connect the accused to both charges, but no further details about the alleged attack were disclosed during the brief hearing.

Maginn’s lawyer did not challenge the evidence against him or seek bail at this stage.

She told the court that a psychiatrist passed him fit to be interviewed by detectives, but indicated that he now requires treatment at a mental health facility.

A formal request was made for an appraisal to be carried out on the defendant while in prison.

District Judge Steven Keown confirmed: “The court directs a mental health assessment.”

Adjourning the case, he remanded Maginn in custody until March 3.