Belfast Telegraph

Feuding family in brawl outside court

Violence broke out at Londonderry courthouse yesterday as an ongoing family feud erupted on the steps of the building.

Police officers had to break up the melee, which left one man bleeding heavily from cuts on his forehead and another man with cuts to his left eye.

The fracas, which lasted minutes, was captured on the courthouse's CCTV security camera.

Up to five members of one family were standing at the front of the courthouse when rival family members appeared on the scene.

An eyewitness told the Belfast Telegraph that if it wasn't for the prompt actions of police the injuries sustained could have been a lot worse.

He said: "They were standing there when other members of the same family came in through the security gates, and as soon as the two groups saw one another the shouting started.

"Two men started fighting, one had the other one up against the pillar and he was giving him a serious beating. At the same time the other ones were still shouting all sorts at each other."

He added: "Two policemen who were in the court came running out with their truncheons in their hands and the two weren't long in stopping fighting, but the shouting didn't stop.

"Other police were called and someone called an ambulance too, which arrived about five minutes or so later."

The eyewitness said: "It was all over so fast but I would say there will be two men with sore heads, one man in particular looked like he was badly cut, there was a lot of blood coming from his forehead. There is obviously bad blood between the family because even when the police were taking them away they were still shouting abuse at one another."

It is understood the case the family were in court for did not proceed.

Police who questioned members of both groups gave medical assistance to the two victims until the ambulance crew arrived.

The men were then treated by paramedics at the scene. Two men and a woman were arrested and taken away by police.

A PSNI spokesman later said: "Two men, one aged 26 and the other aged 53, together with a 51-year-old woman were arrested and questioned about the incident.

"Another man, aged 41, was treated for head injuries at the scene".

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