Belfast Telegraph

Fifth arrest made by police probing Belfast street knife killing

By Nevin Farrell

A fifth person has been arrested by police probing a brutal knife killing in east Belfast.

The arrest of a 29-year-old woman came as police confirmed the man who died following the stabbing in Castlereagh Place on Saturday night was 21-year-old James Stitt from the east of the city.

Mr Stitt is understood to have been knifed in the stomach in an altercation and died at the scene.

A large blue-handled kitchen-type knife found nearby is being forensically examined by investigators.

Neighbours said they believed Mr Stitt suffered the fatal injuries after a row broke out regarding the breakdown of a relationship.

A pot plant was said to have been thrown through the windscreen of a nearby car.

Commenting on the fifth arrest, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson said: "We have arrested a 29-year-old woman who is currently assisting detectives with enquiries.

"I continue to appeal to anyone who was in the area of Castlereagh Place around 10pm on Saturday night, or anyone who has any information in relation to the incident, to contact detectives at Ladas Drive on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Four other people arrested by detectives as part of a murder probe remained in police custody yesterday.

Two men aged 21 and 25 and a 25-year-old woman were initially arrested on suspicion of murder. A 31-year-old man was arrested later.

The incident was described by neighbours who witnessed what happened on Castlereagh Place as "a domestic".

A barman from the Lagan Village Rangers Supporters' Club across the street from the dispute is understood to have frantically tried to save the man's life by putting pressure on the stab wound to stem the blood before paramedics arrived.

DUP MLA Robin Newton said: "There can be no justifiable reason for the taking of a young man's life.

"This awful incident will cause agonising heartache for families and friends.

"The carrying of knives is a worrying trend and there can be no good reason for anyone to carry a knife.

"As the police investigate this murder inquiry they will need the support of anyone who has even a small piece of information about this terrible confrontation."

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