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Armed police deployed to knife stand-off between dad and son in Belfast house, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 07/04/2015

Kurtis Johnston appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court
Kurtis Johnston appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court

A police negotiator was called in to deal with a teenager allegedly armed with a knife in his father's house, a court heard today.

An armed response unit also had to be deployed during the stand-off in Belfast, prosecutors said.

Kurtis Johnston is charged with possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit grievous bodily harm over the incident early on Sunday morning.

The 18-year-old, of Willowfield Crescent in east Belfast, is further accused of damaging a PSNI vehicle by spitting blood and mucus.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court, he confirmed he understood the charges against him.

A police officer opposed his bid to be released on bail, claiming the incident happened following a report of a previous breach.

Johnston's father had alerted officers that he was in the house with a knife, the court heard.

It was claimed that the accused locked himself in, with police then having to call in a negotiator.

Following his eventual arrest he was transferred to Antrim Area Hospital.

"He remained violent and a doctor refused to see him," the police constable claimed.

District Judge George Conner was told of suspicions that drugs had been taken.

A defence solicitor argued that Johnston freely surrendered to police.

"He didn't mean to cause this trouble, he realised he should have opened the door when asked," he added.

"This new allegation, while concerning, I believe there's more flesh to be put on the bones."

But a prosecution lawyer expressed concern that a knife was allegedly brandished when the defendant was in the house with his father.

"I think there was a threat to police when they arrived as well," he said.

"An armed response unit had to be called."

Bail was refused due to the risk of further offences.

Johnston was remanded into custody to appear in court again next week.

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