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Man 'threw father's Zimmer frame and threatened to burn down the house' Belfast High Court hears

Claims argument over upkeep of mother's grave led to violence

by Alan Erwin

Published 09/09/2015

The accused was granted bail.
The accused was granted bail.

A man allegedly threw his widowed father's Zimmer frame in the bath after threatening to burn down the family home, the High Court heard today.

Joseph McAlinden also squared up to the 71-year-old and told him he would break his jaw, prosecutors claimed.

McAlinden, 29, faces charges of common assault and threats to damage property over the incident at their house in Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

He was granted bail but banned from entering the town or contacting his father.

McAlinden was arrested after police were called out to the Railway View property on August 30.

Prosecutor Philip Henry claimed the accused had started a row after arriving home drunk and under the influence of drugs.

"He was shouting loudly in his father's face, clenching his fists, threatening to break his jaw and threatened to burn down the house with the injured party inside," the barrister said.

"He then threw the father's Zimmer frame into the bath. The victim was noted by police to be shaken."

Defence counsel Michael Boyd acknowledged his client can be prone to verbal outbursts while under the influence of drink

"He has a tendency to be a big mouth at certain times," the lawyer said.

The court heard how the family is coping with bereavement following the death of McAlinden's mother.

Mr Boyd added: "The argument he had with his father, he says, relates to the upkeep of the grave."

Bail was granted after Mr Justice Burgess was told the accused could stay at a Sisters of Mercy hostel in Armagh.

Releasing him on conditions which also include a drugs and alcohol prohibition, the judge said: "I can understand there can be quite an amount of turmoil and trauma as a result of the death of his mother.

"But Mr McAlinden seems to think of himself rather than other people."

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