Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Man knifed in neck for challenging racist jibes, court hears

A man was stabbed in the neck after challenging a woman about racist remarks he believed she had made to a black passer-by, the High Court has heard.

The wound inflicted on the 25-year-old victim in south Belfast was just millimetres away from severing a main artery, prosecutors revealed.

Lisa Murphy (27), of Parkdale House, Dunmurry, faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and threats to kill in connection with the knifing.

She was refused bail after a judge described the alleged attack as “an act of appalling lawlessness in a public place”.

The victim and friends had left Madison's Bar on Botanic Avenue when the attack happened in the early hours of August 26.

Once outside they overheard a woman making racist comments about a black passer-by and challenged her, according to the prosecution.

Mr Justice McCloskey was told the group left to walk up nearby Cromwell Road when they heard glass smashing behind them.

It was alleged that two women shouted after them: “We are going to kill you. Do you know who you are walking away from?” The victim then claimed to see a woman moving a knife in front of his face, before he realised he had been stabbed.

“There was a three-inch cut to his neck which required six stitches. It was 2mm away from a main artery,” a prosecution barrister said.

CCTV images show the two groups but do not depict the actual stabbing, the court heard.

Following her arrest Murphy told police she had been on Botanic Avenue when verbal abuse was directed at her.

She claimed to have been punched and hit back in retaliation, but denied the stabbing or any use of a knife.

Her barrister Michael Boyd said: “The abuse from the alleged victim and his group increased in volume and in vulgarity.

“She does not know and cannot explain how the alleged victim has sustained the injury he sustained. She did not inflict it because she did not have any weapon on her.”

However, Mr Justice McCloskey refused bail due to perceived risk to the public.

The judge commented: “There are several accounts before the court. None of those accounts begin to constitute, at the moment, the remotest justification for this act of appalling lawlessness in a public place.”

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