Belfast Telegraph

Lured to knife attack by text message: Stab thug who sent bogus party invite to his victim jailed for three years

By Michael Donnelly

A man who lured his male victim to a house party through a bogus text message before stabbing him in the back has been jailed for three years.

An arrest warrant was issued for a co-accused who failed to turn up for sentence.

However, sentenced along with 23-year-old Conor Bradley, was his 22-year-old girlfriend Caomihe Morgan, who was given a suspended three-month prison term for assaulting police following the attack on September 1, 2011.

Prosecuting lawyer Rosemary Walsh told the city's Crown Court that Bradley, and his 21-year-old co-accused Fergal Anthony Deeney had taken the phone of a fellow partygoer, and unknown to him, texted the victim inviting him to a house-warming party in north Belfast.

Ms Walsh said the victim, thinking the text was from his friend, turned up at his Cliftonville Avenue home, only to hear someone shouting: "That's him now".

The victim later told police that Bradley, of Iveagh Street in Belfast, and Deeney from the Antrim Road in the north of the city, came to the front door and punched him in the face.

They then chased their victim down the street before he fell to the ground. The lawyer said: "Deeney, who was not wearing a top, hit him with a hammer. Bradley shouted: 'I am going to stab you'."

The victim felt a pain in his back and at first thought it had been caused by the hammer blow, said Ms Walsh.

Police were called and Bradley was arrested at the house party hiding under the stairwell with his girlfriend, Morgan, of Kinnaird Terrace in Belfast, the mother of their nine-month-old child.

A search was carried out at the house party and crime scene investigators recovered a hammer in a kitchen drawer and a knife on a windowsill. Tests on the weapons matched the DNA of the victim.

Bradley pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, grievous bodily harm with intent, common assault and assault on police.

Sentenced to a total of six-and-a-half years, he will serve three years in jail, and a further 30 months on licence.

Morgan's jail-term was suspended for two years.

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