27 Nov 2021

Woman remanded in custody over Derry stabbing

Man treated for injuries

Woman remanded in custody over Derry stabbing

Derry courthouse where the woman appeared today

A Derry woman, who a police officer said had “a fascination with knives,” was remanded in custody at local Magistrate's Court after being charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on a 22-year-old man by stabbing him.
Laura Francis (27), of Joseph's Place in the Bogside area of Derry, was charged with stabbing the man in the early hours of yesterday morning.
She was also charged with possessing a knife on the same date with intent to inflict GBH and two counts of assault on police.
Connecting Francis to the charges and opposing bail, a PSNI officer told the court that at 12.50pm police received a 999 call from someone who told them a man had been stabbed by Francis.
The court heard when police arrived at the address, there was a party at which there was drink and drugs being used.
The court was told the alleged injured party said he had been stabbed by a woman who he pointed out to police.
The court heard Francis made no reply when arrested and while being taken into custody, she struck one officer and spat at another, telling him to “enjoy Hep C.”
The court was told she made no comment for the first two interviews but in the third interview she admitted the assaults on police but denied the stabbing and expressed remorse for the assaults on police.
The police officer said Francis had 28 previous convictions, adding the stabbing seemed to have been “a random attack over a minor argument.”
She said it was a drink and drug fuelled party and there were witnesses still to be spoken to.
Defence solicitor, Paddy MacDermott, said Francis denied the stabbing charge and had expressed remorse for the assault on police.
He said his client claimed she did not know the man who was stabbed.
The solicitor said it appeared everyone at the party was under the “influence of something” so the “evidential basis may unravel.”
He added Francis could be excluded from the Waterside area and have no contact with the alleged victim or witnesses.
The solicitor said Francis was taking steps to deal with her alcohol issues.
District Judge Barney McElholm said Francis had previous for assaults and possessing a blade.
He said she was clearly not dealing with her alcohol issues on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Refusing bail, the judge said there was too much of a risk of re-offending and interference with witnesses and refused bail.
Francis was remanded in custody to appear again on 16 January.

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