Belfast Telegraph

Stabbing horror that left two fighting for their lives sparked by row over washing machine

By Rebecca Black

A dispute which has left a grandmother and a man in his 80s fighting for their lives in hospital was over a kitchen appliance, it is understood.

A plan to buy a washing machine in the sales ended in chaos when a personality clash between two people turned into what paramedics described as a "frenzied knife attack".

The incident took place at a home in the Ballyduff area of Newtownabbey at around 4pm on Monday.

It is understood that two women were present when a man got knives from the kitchen following a disagreement with a fourth person.

The women were stabbed and a young child threatened before a male relative intervened.

He was also attacked.

A man in his 80s who lived next door and his elderly wife, who came to the aid of the women after hearing their screams, were also hurt.

The attacker is then understood to have turned the knife on himself.

Eyewitnesses described the scene as "like a horror movie" and said the mood in the area quickly changed from shock to anger on Monday night.

It has been claimed that police came under attack as a person was led from the property by officers on Monday.

Locals are understood to have spat at the person and tried to attack him, such was the anger in the community after the stabbings.

A community worker said: "It is very lucky that there were no fatalities. The shock very quickly turned to anger. Tensions are very high in the area because of the women being attacked and those families are very highly respected.

"Locals went berserk when police came. They wanted to attack the person police led out, they spat at the person."

Yesterday a spokesman for the PSNI said no one has been arrested regarding the incident.

Earlier, the PSNI said an investigation is under way, but detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection to the incident at this stage.

John McPoland, from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said two people suffered serious injuries.

"There are stab injuries all over different parts of their body, including the chest, back and groin. So it looks like some kind of frenzied attack," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Belfast Trust last night said four people remained in hospital and described their condition as "stable".

Two were discharged on Tuesday night.

Among those still in hospital last night were the elderly neighbour Sammy Gaynor and his wife.

Mr Gaynor has been described by locals as "an absolute gentleman".

Another neighbour described Mr Gaynor as "the nicest person you will ever meet".

"Sammy is amazing. He is the nicest person you will ever meet in your life," they said.

One of the injured women still in hospital has been named locally as grandmother Angela Bell. Her Facebook page was filled with comments from well-wishers sending their thoughts and prayers to her.

Newtownabbey mayor Fraser Agnew said people in the the area, home to many elderly residents, have been left shocked and traumatised by events.

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