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Belfast woman Kathleen McCann faces court over attempt to kill mum and daughter

By Paul Higgins

Published 03/09/2015

A woman wept in court as she was accused of attempted murder of a mother and daughter
A woman wept in court as she was accused of attempted murder of a mother and daughter

A west Belfast woman wept in court as she was refused bail accused of trying to murder a mother and daughter.

Standing in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court, 28-year-old Kathleen Catriona McCann spoke only to confirm that she understood the three charges against her.

McCann, a mother-of-three from Cloona Manor in Dunmurry, is accused of attempting to murder Jacqueline May and her daughter Saoirse May and aggravated burglary at a house on Cloona Manor, inflicting grievous bodily harm and being armed with a knife at the time.

Earlier this week her 35-year-old brother William Philzer McCann, also from Cloona Manor, was granted bail on similar charges.

Yesterday, Detective Constable McQuade told the court he believed he could connect Ms McCann to the charges and that police were objecting to her being released on bail amid fears that witnesses would be subject to intimidation.

He described how, according to the police case, the daughter was subjected to verbal abuse by Ms McCann at the King's Head bar before she then allegedly attacked her.

The door staff broke the fight up and ejected Ms McCann so Saoirse May called her mother who is a taxi driver to take her home, but when the mother and daughter arrived, Mr McCann was already there and allegedly called his sister over, telling her to "come and kill her."

The officer claimed that outside the house, the brother and sister kicked Jacqueline May to the ground as she tried to stop the pair getting into her daughter's home without success.

Inside the home, the detective told the court, Ms McCann allegedly attacked Saoirse May again and she had described feeling "hot tingles on her head and body, wet on her face and realised she was bleeding".

"She would say she saw the point of a blade in Kathleen McCann's hand," said the officer, adding that Saoirse May sustained a "number of puncture wounds" to her head, neck and shoulders but were largely superficial.

Her mother however sustained more serious injuries including five stab wounds, one of which caused a lung to collapse and she remains in hospital.

Ms McCann counter-claimed she had been subjected to an unprovoked assault in the bar.

She further claimed that Saoirse May had been armed with a knife and that having managed to get it from her, she was "flailing" it around in self-defence and "in fear for her life".

District Judge Mervyn Bates said that while it was clearly a case of joint enterprise between the brother and sister, "it is certainly alleged that this defendant was the knife wielder."

Ms McCann was remanded into custody to appear again via videolink on Monday.

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