Belfast Telegraph

Bobby Tohill stabbing accused 'suffered blackout'

A man accused of cutting the throat of prominent republican Bobby Tohill may have suffered a blackout, the High Court heard.

Thomas Valliday (59) was on medication and drinking three litres of vodka a week at the time of the knife attack.

A total of four people were injured during an outbreak of violence on March 15 last year.

Valliday, from Clonard Place in the city, denies charges of attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon in public and assault on police.

Multiple neck and body wounds were inflicted on Mr Tohill during the stabbing at a Falls Road bar.

Police were told his throat had been cut, but he had left the scene by the time they arrived, the court heard. He has since withdrawn his statement of complaint, but is still to be summoned to give evidence in the case.

A prosecution barrister said: “During interview he (Valliday) said he had no memory (of the incident) because he was an alcoholic and on a large amount of medication.”

Valliday is on bail, but was seeking to lift a prohibition on entering a part of west Belfast.

Defence counsel Declan Quinn said his client was not carrying a knife when arrested and said there was no suggestion of any pressure being put on the alleged victim to withdraw his statement.

He added: “He raised the possibility that he had suffered a blackout, whilst maintaining his innocence.”

However, Mr Justice Stephens refused to vary bail in a case involving “almost total violence and major disorder”.

He ruled that it was insufficient to produce a year-old medical report to support claims Valliday is now teetotal.

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