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Man allegedly threatened to stab his mum in row over being forced to leave his home, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 13/10/2015

The 21-year-old defendant denies carrying out any attack
The 21-year-old defendant denies carrying out any attack

A man allegedly threatened to stab his mother before punching and kicking her in a row over being forced to leave his home, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Padraig McAleenan knocked her to the ground and delivered up to 10 blows as she lay curled up on a south Belfast street, it was claimed.

The 21-year-old defendant denies carrying out any attack, instead accusing his mother of twice biting him in an outburst of violence.

He is charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to Margaret McAleenan, two counts of common assault and possession of a kitchen knife with intent.

The alleged offences were committed at Walmer Street - where he and his partner were living at the time - on October 4.

McAleenan, now with an address at Haywood Avenue in Belfast, was granted bail but banned from any contact with his mother or witnesses in the case.

Police were called to the scene amid claims he threatened to stab her with a carving knife.

The court heard his mother and her friend had gone to Walmer Street  to remove belongings from the property she was handing back to the Housing Executive.

According to their accounts McAleenan arrived, kicked in the front door and started acting "like a maniac".

David Russell, prosecuting, outlined allegations that at one stage the defendant had the knife half a metre from his mother before her friend grabbed it from him.

He also screamed threats and tried to choke her before punching and kicking her in the stomach, it was claimed.

The alleged violence continued outside, with the court being told Margaret McAleenan threw a photo frame at the car her son and his partner were in.

Mr Russell said a neighbour stated that the defendant got out of the vehicle and struck his mother again.

She fell to the ground and was allegedly kicked five, possibly ten times about the head and body as she lay curled up, the witness reported.

Ms McAleenan sustained a cut and bruising to her mouth and forehead.

Her son gave a conflicting account to police, claiming she ran at him with the knife.

He also alleged that she bit in twice: first on the leg after grabbing his legs in the house; and the again on the thigh when she tried to get at him in the car.

It was accepted that the defendant does have marks in those areas.

McAleenan's partner, Ciara Higgins, told the court his mother lay on the car bonnet "squealing and squealing".

When she reversed away Ms McAleenan fell off but came running towards the vehicle as it exited the street, according to her account.

The accused's barrister, Joe Brolly, argued: "The case against him is fabricated."

He claimed his client's mother had been drinking that day, adding that her injuries were consistent with falling off the car.

"The case is very likely to be doomed," Mr Brolly contended.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Burgess also imposed an alcohol ban and ordered McAleenan to be curfewed and electronically tagged.

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