Belfast Telegraph

Schoolboy running champion accused of trying to stab woman in Belfast is refused bail

A former champion youth athlete accused of trying to stab a woman to death must remain in custody for now, a High Court judge decided today.

Adam Ingram, a one-time top middle-distance runner, was seeking bail on charges of attempted murder and aggravated burglary with intent.

The 20-year-old is alleged to have entered a house at Glenrosa Link, north Belfast last August and inflicted multiple stab wounds on the victim.

Shauneen Dowds was said to have suffered lacerations to her head, neck and body in the attack.

Ingram, of Deacon Street in the city, denies the charges.

His barrister Jon Paul Shields said: "The defendant has always maintained he was not present in the premises."

Forensic material which is expected to be crucial in the case is still awaited, the court heard.

Mr Shields set out how personal tragedy dealt a huge blow to his client's fledging athletic career.

As well as competing at the Youth Olympics, Ingram won multiple other championship events from 400 metres up to 1,500 metres, counsel disclosed.

Up until early last year the accused trained at Lagan Valley Athletics Club.

But after his sister died of cancer he "descended into inappropriate coping mechanisms", Mr Shields told the court.

The barrister said: "Coming up to August he was completely out of control. He found it difficult to deal with and manage the emotional trauma he had gone through."

Mr Justice Weir heard Ingram's drug-related problems were exacerbated by two friends committing suicide.

However, during the last six months in custody his situation was said to have stabilised.

He has attended bereavement counselling and repeatedly tested negative for drugs.

But adjourning his application to be released, the judge said: "I'm not going to give this man bail on a charge of attempted murder at this point."

Instead, he called for progress to be made in the investigation.

He added: "I think it's high time the forensics and other evidence in the case was collected and provided."

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