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Newcastle stabbing: Man charged after Co Down man left fighting for life

Published 03/02/2016

Appeal: Margaret Ritchie
Appeal: Margaret Ritchie

A man was fighting for his life last night after being stabbed five times close to a supermarket in Co Down.

Emergency services were called to the Castlewellan Road in Newcastle shortly after 7.30pm yesterday.

The man, who is in his 40s, had been stabbed near the Tesco supermarket, where a bundle of clothing and blood stains could still be seen on the ground last night. The supermarket is close to a number of housing estates and caravan sites.

The victim was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment to his injuries, which have been described as serious.

A 53-year-old man has since been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, threats to kill and possessing an offensive weapon.

He is due to appear at Downpatrick Magistrates Court on Thursday. As is normal procedure all charges are reviewed by the PPS.

PSNI Detective Inspector Brian Foster said: "This occurred at quite a busy time, therefore I would ask anyone who was in the area at the time to contact detectives at Downpatrick police station on the non emergency number 101, or if someone would prefer to provide information they can do so through Crimestoppers."

Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke said: "My thoughts are with the victim and his family.

"I have been talking to a number of residents and they are all numbed by what has happened.

"The police are following a line of enquiry.

"That goes some way to reassure the public that the police are on top of it."

Margaret Richie, the SDLP MP for South Down, said she hopes that man has a swift recovery.

"This was a brutal and terrifying attack and I absolutely condemn it," she said.

"I understand the man who was stabbed is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital and I hope he has a swift recovery.

"This happened on a busy road near a supermarket on the Castlewellan Road and people will have information which will be useful to the investigation team.

"I urge anyone who saw what happened to contact the police.

"Community co-operation is the essence of good policing."

The area remained closed last night as Crime Scene Investigators carried out work.

Belfast Telegraph

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