Belfast Telegraph

Son held knife to pastor dad's throat

BY ALAN ERWIN

A manhigh on drink and drugs trailed his pastor father outside before holding a knife to his throat and demanding money, a court has heard.

Alan Campbell was handed cash and then locked out of his parents' home in Bangor, Co Down, prosecutors said.

The 22-year-old claims to have little memory of the incident last week due to blacking out.

Campbell, of Springfield Road, Bangor, faces charges of robbery and possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit an assault.

He was refused bail at the High Court amid concerns about mental health problems.

A judge was told Campbell had taken drink and mephedrone before going to his parents' house on April 25. Conor Gillespie, prosecuting, claimed Campbell took a steak knife from a kitchen drawer and then dragged his father out into the front garden.

It was claimed that Campbell held the blade to the clergyman's throat and made a demand for money.

The victim went back inside, obtained cash and then locked the door.

Defence counsel said that despite the blackout, Campbell was not denying the portrayed incident.

He argued, however, that his client could be released because there would be little chance of coming into contact with the victim.

"The applicant's father is a church pastor and has moved to Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone as a result of his position," the barrister said.

The court also heard how Campbell suffers from learning difficulties and mental health issues.

However, Mr Justice Horner stressed the need for a psychiatrist's report when dealing with the case.

Refusing bail, the judge gave his reasons: "One can imagine the fear that the parents would have been in as a result of their son's behaviour."

The judge added: "Under the influence of drink and drugs he's a positive danger, not just to his parents but to members of the community."

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