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Man allegedly tried to stab his brother to death after family funeral, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 10/12/2015

A Co Tyrone man allegedly tried to stab his brother to death following a family funeral, the High Court heard today.

Sean McCartney, 39, is accused of plunging a kitchen knife through the victim's jaw in a drink-fuelled attack last weekend.

He faces charges of attempting to murder Conor McCartney and possession of an offensive weapon.

The defendant, of John Wesley Street in Strabane, was refused bail due to concerns about any further potential violence.

Prosecutors said his brother had travelled over from England to attend their uncle's funeral.

In a 999 call early on December 6 Conor McCartney claimed he had been stabbed through the jaw.

He was taken to hospital and received 13 stitches for cheek and mouth wounds.

The court heard police then discovered some areas of the accused's home covered in blood. He at first claimed to have suffered a nose bleed.

In a statement to investigating detectives Conor McCartney said he had gone out drinking with his brother while staying with him.

He alleged that a row broke out over borrowed money after they returned home.

It was claimed that Sean McCartney came out of his kitchen brandishing a knife and shouting: "Get the f*** out of my house."

Prosecution counsel continued: "The complainant put his hands up and it's alleged the applicant pushed him back on the chair, holding the knife and pinning him down."

She claimed Sean McCartney then stabbed his brother in the cheek before trying to inflict a further wound.

"The complainant said he tried to stab him in the throat and that he felt he was going to be killed," the barrister added.

"He said he felt it touching his neck but managed to push it away."

The accused has no recollection of the alleged attack, the court was told.

He said his last memory was reminiscing with and hugging his brother.

Sean McCartney appeared on crutches via a prison video-link for the bail hearing. According to his legal representatives he cannot recall how he sustained that injury either.

A defence lawyer said the case involved "very tragic circumstances".

He described the brothers as close and being in good spirits on the day of the alleged attack.

"To say that he (Sean McCartney) is gutted and remorseful would be an understatement given the relationship the two brothers have," he added.

Denying bail, however, the judge said: "I couldn't have confidence this sort of behaviour alleged against him would not be repeated."

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