Claw hammer attack accused to stay in custody
A 37-year-old man accused of striking out at his ex-partner's son with a claw hammer seven times has been refused High Court bail for a third time.
William Hutchinson, from Kilbroney House in the Cregagh area of Belfast, is accused of attacking both his "vulnerable" ex-partner and her son in the early hours of March 24.
Crown prosecutor Fiona O'Kane said that during the alleged incident, Hutchinson's victim wrapped himself in a duvet for protection and was "struck by the applicant seven times with the hammer".
Having been refused bail twice, the latest application was on the grounds there has been a change in circumstances – namely Hutchinson's former partner has withdrawn her statement against him.
After listening to submissions from both the Crown and defence, Mr Justice Horner said he was not satisfied that any bail conditions imposed would stop Hutchinson reoffending or attempting to interfere with "vulnerable witnesses" and refused to grant bail.