Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Man accused of sucking blood from teen's arm cleared of assault

Bit in defence: Michael Perkins

A university clerk accused of sucking the blood from the arm of a teenager he bit into has been cleared of assault.

Michael Perkins (38) was acquitted after a court heard claims linked to devil worshipping and support for burning Christian churches.

Mr Perkins faced a charge of |assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an incident during a New Year's Eve party at his south Belfast home two years ago.

He accepted biting the alleged victim, then aged 17, but insisted it was in self defence after being punched, scratched and having his glasses knocked off.

Mr Perkin's accuser claimed he was attacked after being ordered to leave the house on Malone Road early on January 1, 2007.

Giving evidence at Belfast Magistrates Court, he admitted throwing stones and a flower pot at the property. But he claimed his actions were in response to being grabbed and bitten.

Asked by defence counsel Sean O'Hare about a “bizarre” allegation of having his blood sucked, the complainant replied: “You could see him sucking at my arm.”

But Mr O'Hare questioned why he did not report his allegations until days later.

The lawyer also probed him about an conversation he had with another of those at the house who was described as taking a “relaxed view to certain aspects of |Satanism and devil worship”.

Mr O'Hare put it to the complainant: “You take a very unorthodox view of Satanism. You had very strident, forthright views what should happen to Christians and non-Satanists.”

The complainant replied by stressing he was only 17 at the time and not heavily into religion, describing it as ridiculous.

Defence witness Francis Goodall told the court how he had been talking with the teenager about Christianity and devil-worshipping.

Mr Goodall said: “It became a religious debate. He claimed he was a Satanist and he thought Christian churches should be burnt to the ground.”

During his evidence Mr Perkins told how the mood changed on the night after his accuser shoved someone else into a table.

He said he tried to reason with him before deciding the only remedy was to get him out of the house.

Mr Perkins said the teenager then aimed a blow at his groin and started swinging at him.

Telling how he was forced back against a wall, he added: “I honestly did think there was no other option for getting out of this situation other than biting him.”

Asked by Mr O'Hare about the allegation that he sucked on the wound, Mr Perkins replied: “Definitely not.”

After hearing both sides District Judge Ken Nixon dismissed the case against the accused, declaring that the prosecution case did not reach the standard of proof required.