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Belfast man accused of metal bar attack on sleeping victim - mother allegedly said son deserved it and tried to clean up scene

Published 08/07/2016

Ryan Taylor is accused of attack on Matthew Larsen
Ryan Taylor is accused of attack on Matthew Larsen

A man allegedly used a metal bar to inflict up to 20 blows to the head of his partner's sleeping son, the Hgh Court heard today.

Ryan Taylor, 29, beat Matthew Larsen unconscious and caused his ear to "explode" in an attempt to kill him, prosecutors claimed.

The 24-year-old victim was left critically injured by the attack allegedly carried out at his mother's flat in north Belfast last December.

A judge was also told she is accused of saying her son deserved it and trying to clean up the scene afterwards.

Taylor, of Templemore Street in the city, is charged with attempting to murder Mr Larsen at the Ross House apartment block in Mount Vernon.

He also faces further counts of causing grievous bodily harm to the victim's pregnant girlfriend when she tried to intervene, and making threats to kill witnesses.

Bail was refused due to the potential risk of re-offending or interfering with the investigation.

Prosecution counsel Kate McKay claimed the victim was asleep when the accused and his partner, Julie Larsen, arrived back at her flat.

Mr Larsen's girlfriend let the couple in before Taylor took a drop bar used to barricade the front door and launched the bedroom attack, it was alleged.

The court heard an initial strike to the side of his head rendered the victim unconscious.

"It's alleged this applicant then rained around 20 heavy blows to Mr Larsen's head, using the heavy drop bar as a weapon," Mrs McKay said.

His girlfriend was also allegedly beaten as she tried to shield him, fracturing her arm.

She was pregnant at the time and has since given birth, Madam Justice McBride was told.

Mr Larsen spent a long period in intensive care but is now undergoing a phased release from hospital.

The prosecution expressed hope that he will make a "good" recovery in due course.

It was claimed that after ambulance staff took him from the flat Taylor threatened to kill up to three witnesses if they went to police.

The court heard Julie Larsen, 41, is also charged with the attempted murder of her son and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Although she is not accused of taking part in the attack, she allegedly said she knew he was to get a beating and stated: "He may be my son but he deserved it."

According to Mrs McKay the drop bar had been cleaned before it was seized.

A duvet cover was also laid across heavily blood-stained pillows and bedding was found in the washing machine.

"There was clearly an attempt to make the forensic evidence disappear," the barrister submitted.

Referring to Julie Larsen's alleged role, Mrs McKay added: "She said she has OCD, that's why she cleaned up the bed linen."

Seeking bail for Taylor, defence counsel Mark Farrell argued that his client's partner has already been released from custody despite facing the same attempted murder charge.

"In some ways the case against Mrs Larsen is more grave because it's in a domestic setting: her own son," he contended.

Mr Farrell insisted there should be a consistent approach in Taylor's case to ensure confidence in the justice system.

But denying bail due to concerns about interference with witnesses and further offending, Madam  Justice McBride said: "I'm not satisfied there are any conditions that can be put in place to address the risks."

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