Belfast Telegraph

Convictions upheld for brothers Hugh and James McCormick over Joseph Henry murder bid

By Alan Erwin

Two brothers jailed for the attempted murder of a man stabbed in Belfast have failed in a bid to overturn their convictions.

Hugh and James McCormick were appealing against being found guilty of the attack on Joseph Henry in July 2011.

But senior judges rejected claims that issues over identification in the case rendered their convictions unsafe.

Mr Henry was hit over the head with a crowbar and stabbed in the neck outside his home in the Markets area.

Both defendants denied the attempted murder, but were convicted by a jury in 2015.

Hugh McCormick (51), formerly of Rosevale Street in Belfast, was handed a 15-year sentence.

James McCormick (47), from Teeling Avenue in Dunmurry and a former brother-in-law of the victim, received a 14-and-a-half-year term.

During their trial Mr Henry said he had been attacked by the brothers after going out for a cigarette. He recalled hearing a voice asking the whereabouts of his nephew before being hit with the crowbar.

A 12-inch knife was then stuck into his neck. Mr Henry lost two litres of blood, needed a blood transfusion and remained in hospital for three weeks.

Defence lawyers argued in the Court of Appeal that there was a real possibility he had not seen his assailants.

Refusing the appeal, Lord Justice Weatherup said: "We are satisfied that the manner in which the trial judge dealt with the issue of identification cannot be faulted. We are left with no sense of unease about the correctness of the verdicts of the jury."

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