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19/09/2021

Derry court hears armed response unit tasked to new housing development in Derry after man stabbed in the head over 'drug debt'

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A 42-year-old Derry man has appeared in court charged with stabbing man in the head at the weekend during an argument over a ‘drug debt’. Martin McShane, whose address was given as Balliniska Heights in Derry appeared at the local Magistrate's Court on Monday charged with possessing an offensive weapon, namely a knife, on Saturday, September 1 and attempted GBH with intent on the same date. A police officer in court connected McShane to the charges and opposed bail. He told the court police received a report from a member of the public who had said they witnessed a young man with a head injury. The defendant was observed outside a flat and the court was told that there was trail of blood lfrom the property leading out to the street. The court heard that police then received a further report that the alleged injured party in the case was seen standing outside a shop. An ambulance was sent for and police then spoke to the man, who said that he had been attacked by McShane. The court was told that an armed response unit was tasked to the flat where McShane was seen, and the unit then removed the defendant and three other men from the property. One of the man told police that the wounded man had been attempting to buy drugs and was stabbed. McShane told police that an argument had erupted over a drug debt and that injured party had attacked him, and that he had ‘waved a knife’ at the man. Police were unsuccessful in retrieving the weapon, the officer added. The court heard the injured party needed two stitches to his head due to the injury. During police interview, the defendant was said to have been abusive and aggressive. The officer added that when arrested, McShane had been ‘given a send-off from about 50 people' in the area, as he was ‘not popular’. Bitten ear The court heard that he had also breached bail on a previous charge by not signing when he supposed to and this was the second incident of violence McShane had been charged with. Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client had another address if necessary, before adding that McShane had a ‘litany of health problems’. Mr Quigley added that on one of the older charges McShane alleged that someone had bitten his ear and that was why he had stabbed him. The police officer said they believed that there was CCTV available of the most recent incident, but they had not had time to view it prior to the court appearance. District Judge Barney McElholm said he would be willing to adjourn the application to allow police time to complete their inquiries. The case was adjourned until September 7.

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