The manager of a B&B in Ballymena was stabbed 55 times by a resident who repeatedly shouted “you’re dead” whilst carrying out the fatal knife attack, a court has heard.
Inayat Shah (64), who ran the Traveller’s Rest on the Galgorm Road, was murdered by Michael Lenaghan (55) on March 21 2020.
During a plea hearing at Belfast Crown Court, it emerged that prior to killing Mr Shah, Lenaghan attacked a fellow resident at the B&B/hostel with a knife and threatened to slit the throat of another.
A prosecutor told Judge Patricia Smyth that on the afternoon in question, Mr Shah’s 16-year old granddaughter had been visiting.
The Shah family were watching TV in the living quarters when they were approached by a resident who had just been stabbed in the chest by Lenaghan.
Mr Shah called 999, and after this the wounded man left the living quarters and walked outside. Mr Shah was asked to stay inside by his granddaughter, but - whilst remaining on the 999 call - he followed the wounded man outside as he wanted to assist him.
As the wounded resident and Mr Shah made their way to Lenaghan’s accommodation, they were approached by Lenaghan who was still armed with a knife. An eyewitness reported seeing Lenaghan acting in an aggressive manner and he was then seen chasing Mr Shah up an alleyway.
During the chase, Mr Shah ended up on the ground and he was then set upon my Lenaghan. The prosecuting KC said: “Over the course of the next two-and-a-half minutes, the chilling and devastating attack on Mr Shah was captured on the recorded 999 call.”
“The 999 call recorded the screams of Mr Shah as he was repeatedly stabbed by the defendant.”
A subsequent post mortem indicated he had been stabbed 55 times.
A short time later, when he was approached by police, Lenaghan said: “I did it. It’s me you’re looking for.”
With an address at Galgorm Road in Ballymena, Lenaghan admitted murdering Mr Shah and wounding one fellow resident and threatening to kill another.
Judge Smyth was told Lenaghan had a relevant criminal record for violent offences in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.
The judge said she required further medical evidence before she would be in a position to impose a tariff - the minimum term Lenaghan will spent in prison before he is considered eligible for release.
The Belfast Recorder said this will be imposed at a later date.