Bail refused for man accused of 'unprovoked attack' on 80-year-old in County Down

Bail refused for man accused of 'unprovoked attack' on 80-year-old in County Down

A 54-YEAR-OLD with a Millisle address has been remanded in custody accused of grievous bodily harm with intent on an 80-year-old man.

John Frederick Gainsford, of Woburn Drive, is charged in relation to July 6 this year.

The defendant appeared via video link from custody at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Friday and a police officer objected to bail.

The officer said around 6.30pm on July 6 the defendant made a 999 call to police saying he had "just stabbed someone" at his own address.

The officer said the defendant claimed to police that after he woke up there was someone in his home.

Police found the 80-year-old in the kitchen with bruising to his face, a "badly swollen" eye and there was a "large pool of blood" on the kitchen floor.

A knife with a seven-inch blade, "covered in blood," was recovered.

The officer said the injured man was taken to hospital and had told police he had been contacted by Gainsford who asked him to buy gin and bring it to his home which he did.

The officer said the man said he shared a gin and tonic with the defendant but "could not recall anything after this until he wakens up in hospital".

She said injuries included an eye injury and cuts to his hand.

The officer said the defendant was interviewed and confirmed the injured man was known to him.

Gainsford told police he had been "drinking for three days" and had "no recollection" of the man being at his home on the afternoon of July 6.

The officer said the defendant told police when he woke up he found a male lying in his kitchen and did not know who he was at the time.

Gainsford had phoned police for what the defendant described as "assistance".

The court heard the defendant had denied causing injuries to the man.

The officer said police believe it had been an "unprovoked attack on an 80 year old male".

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions including grievous bodily harm.

A defence lawyer said the 80-year-old was on medication to thin his blood which, the lawyer alleged, could account for a "small cut" on his hand and a "large pool of blood".

The police officer confirmed there were "no stab wounds".

The lawyer said it was possible the injured party was "intoxicated" and could have slipped and fallen and hit his head off the ground.

The officer said there was "no disputing the two parties were drinking in the property together".

The defence lawyer said the defendant woke up and when he came downstairs both his front and back doors were open and when he walked into his kitchen he saw a male on the ground, "shock, dazed and slightly drunk," he saw a knife, picked it up, and made a 999 call.

The lawyer said Gainsford told police he had "stabbed" the man but "that has turned out to be completely untrue".

District Judge Amanda Brady said the injured man had yet to give a full account and "the allegation is an unprovoked attack on an elderly gentleman".

She refused bail and the defendant was remanded in custody to August 3.