Court hears of trouble in Antrim town including alleged attempted murder of a man and a 'hammer attack' on his son (17)

Court hears of trouble in Antrim town including alleged attempted murder of a man and a 'hammer attack' on his son (17)

A COURT has heard trouble has flared in Antrim town including a 'knife attack' on a man, being treated as attempted murder, and a hammer attack on his 17-year-old son.

Details emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena (main picture), where David Fletcher and Kurtis Millar appeared via video link from custody.

Fletcher (27), of 'no fixed abode' in Antrim, is charged with the attempted murder of a male and being in possession of a knife 'without lawful authority or reasonable excuse' in the vicinity of Carnbrock Drive in the town on April 1 this year.

He is also charged with aggravated burglary of a dwelling at Rathkyle in Antrim on April 4 this year with intent to do unlawful damage whilst having a hammer and possessing a hammer 'without lawful authority or reasonable excuse'.

In relation to April 4, Kurtis Millar (27), of Rathglynn in Antrim, is charged with aggravated burglary at the Rathkyle dwelling with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm; possession of a brick and hammer in a public place 'without lawful authority or reasonable excuse'; and possession of cannabis.

Fletcher did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.

Millar had a bail application refused after it was objected to by a police officer.

The court heard there was a "knife attack" on a male on April 1 allegedly involving Fletcher.

A defence lawyer said it was allegedly a "very significant stabbing and attempted murder" and there was no allegation that Millar played any part in that incident.

The court was told the alleged victim's son was allegedly hit with a brick and hammer and suffered cuts on the leg, arm and side at an address in Rathkyle on April 4 this year.

Police received a report at 6.53am that two males with scarves over their faces had broken into the property.

Police found the front door and two windows were damaged.

The 17-year-old, who was believed to have been alone in the property, told police two males had broken in through the front door before causing damage in the kitchen; smashing a TV in a living room and smashing a window in an upstairs window.

The officer said the youth told police he recognised the voice of one of the intruders as Fletcher.

He told police he was struck with a hammer by the male with Fletcher.

The court heard the males left and the youth's brother was coming home and saw them departing with their faces covered. He said the males shouted at him and he "recognised both their voices" as being the defendants whom he knows.

Police went to Millar's home a short distance away a short time later and located Millar and Fletcher who were arrested. Two "mallets"were recovered.

The officer said it was the latest incident since March 17 this year.

On March 17, Fletcher and Millar had been arrested for criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon after allegedly attacking the same house at Rathkyle.

They were bailed over that incident and were not to have any contact with an injured party and Millar was barred from Rathkyle.

The officer said when arrested on April 4, Millar "displayed a willingness to revisit the address" at Rathkyle and the policeman believed there would be further trouble if he was released on bail.

The officer said there had been an "escalation of the violence" and added: "It seems to be tit-for-tat and I wouldn't want innocent people to be caught up in what is happening".

He said there had been an incident "last week where Mr Millar's house was attacked with a petrol bomb that didn't light and enquiries are still ongoing in relation to that".

The defence lawyer said the alleged voice recognition of Millar came from the 17-year-old's brother whom the lawyer said was "known to the court" and which would be challenged.

District Judge Nigel Broderick refused Millar bail saying he was "concerned" about the incidents.

He added: "Whatever the background to these allegations there does appear to be some issues in the local area".

The cases were adjourned to May 3.