Belfast Telegraph

Man allegedly 'used hammer to break down his girlfriend's front door and attack her son'

By Alan Erwin

A man allegedly used a claw hammer to break down his vulnerable girlfriend's front door and attack her son, the High Court heard today.

William Hutchinson repeatedly struck the victim and tried to bite him as he wrapped himself in a duvet for protection, prosecutors claimed.

The 37-year-old faces charges of aggravated burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and resisting police over the incident at a block of flats in the Cregagh area of east Belfast.

Hutchinson is accused of leaving his own apartment at Kilbroney House, Greenway and launching the attack at a neighbouring home early last Monday.

During a failed application for bail the court he was in a relationship with a woman with mental health problems who lives there with a son who acts as her carer.

It was alleged that he forced open the front door by swinging a claw hammer while yelling in a drunken rage: "Where the f*** is she?"

Prosecution counsel claimed the son was pushed into a bedroom where he wrapped himself in a duvet only to be struck several times.

Hutchinson also allegedly attempted to bite him on the face.

Mr Justice Weir was told the accused's girlfriend had earlier left his flat and returned to her own home because she felt threatened.

Both mother and son sustained cuts in the incident, the court heard.

The prosecution lawyer revealed CCTV footage from the hallway of the flats has been obtained.

She claimed: "It shows him (Hutchinson) striking the door several times with an object similar to a hammer, the door is opened and the defendant is observed to strike that person on the side."

Michael Boyd, defending, said his client strenuously denies the charges and claims he had not been carrying a hammer.

Hutchinson was instead knocking the door with a cigarette tin to make himself heard, he contended.

The accused claimed an argument was underway in the flat about medication and that his girlfriend's son then struck him on the head with a knife.

"He tried to get away, there was a hammer lying in the hallway which he threw at the son in order to defend himself," Mr Boyd added.

But refusing bail, Mr Justice Weir pointed to concerns that Hutchinson may not abide by conditions.

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