Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Mechanic charged with murder bid on stabbed nurse

An Omagh mechanic has been remanded in custody charged with attempting to murder a young nurse.

Stephen Paul McCrea is accused of trying to kill Tracy Monteith, who was viciously stabbed in the head on the doorstep of her new home at the weekend.

The 23-year-old remains in a critical condition in a Belfast hospital, where worried relatives are keeping a 24-hour vigil.

McCrea (30), from Riverview Park in Omagh, appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates Court yesterday with two black eyes and other facial injuries.

Inside the court McCrea, who was dressed in a white T-shirt, black cardigan and jeans, spoke only to confirm he understood the charge.

No details of the alleged attack, which took place at Cappagh Villas during the early hours of Sunday morning, were given in court.

However, a PSNI detective sergeant said he believed he could connect McCrea to the charge. McCrea’s solicitor, Adrian O’Kane, said there was no forensic evidence relating to the investigation at this stage.

He added that his client’s medical needs were “quite significant”, and that a bail application would be made in due course.

District Judge Liam McNally remanded McCrea in custody to appear before Omagh Magistrates Court via videolink on August 24.

Miss Monteith had been hosting a house-warming party at the property she shares with partner Brian Moore before being attacked.

It is understood friends were alerted by Tracy’s screams and fought off her assailant.

She was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where her parents Mervyn and Marie and sister Laura have been keeping a vigil at the hospital.

In a statement to their local newspaper, the Monteith family said: “Tracy unfortunately opened the door to a complete stranger in the early hours of the morning and this person attacked her.

“Tracy is still very seriously ill in hospital and the next few days are critical.”

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