Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of assault at wedding over loud music is sent for trial

By Nevin Farrell

A man alleged to have donned a balaclava before gatecrashing a wedding reception with a knife because he claimed he couldn't sleep "due to the racket," has had his case sent to Antrim Crown Court.

John Patrick Anderson (21), of Scally Park, Loughgiel, is charged with assault, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and possession of a knife with intent to commit assault.

Having been on remand in custody, he appeared at Coleraine Magistrates' Court yesterday for a preliminary enquiry. Anderson confirmed he had no objection to the court proceedings and a prosecutor said she believed there was a case to answer.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Shiels said he had no contrary submissions and District Judge Liam McNally held there was a case to answer.

The accused said he did not wish to say anything at this stage about the charges, and he was remanded in continuing custody to appear at Antrim Crown Court for arraignment in March.

In December, a sitting of Coleraine Magistrates' Court was told a wedding guest thought she was "going to die" after a balaclava-clad knife-man allegedly confronted her before she was dramatically rescued by her dad.

The accused, Anderson, claimed he had only gone to Loughgiel Millennium Centre to "disable the sound system because of the racket" from the wedding party.

During a failed bail application by Anderson in December, a police officer said that in the early hours of Saturday, July 16, last year, family members associated with the wedding party were still in the community facility when a woman went outside and was approached by a "scruffy looking" balaclava-wearing man carrying a large kitchen knife.

When the woman asked him what he was doing, Anderson allegedly put the knife within five inches of her throat and the woman, a mental health worker, tried to talk to him, the officer told the hearing.

They continued, saying the woman put her hands up and tried to back away until she was pushed up against a wall and "thought she was going to die".

The officer said the woman's father came out and broke a table over the defendant's back and the balaclava was then pulled off.

Solicitor Ciaran Shiels told the December court: "He went up to disable the sound system and it was not his intention to hurt anyone."

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