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Teen boy accused of knife attack on shop manager to be released from custody for sister's first holy communion

By Alan Erwin

Published 30/04/2015

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A 16-year-old boy accused of a knife attack on a shop manager is to be released from custody for his sister's first holy communion.

The youth, who cannot be named, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court today charged over an incident in the north of the city.

He faces counts of possessing a knife with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, wounding and criminal damage to the manager's clothing.

The alleged offences occurred at a convenience store on the Antrim Road on Thursday.

During the hearing a defence lawyer sought temporary release for the accused to attend the ceremony at a church on Saturday.

An investigating detective opposed the application, citing concerns for the safety of the alleged victim.

He said the church was close to the location of the shop.

The offences were committed while the accused was on bail for other charges, it was claimed.

But the defence solicitor argued: "When he was arrested his mother's first concern was about Saturday and the arrangement she had put in place."

District Judge George Conner was told a photographer has been booked to take a family portrait.

Granting compassionate temporary release for the ceremony, Mr Conner ordered the youth to be back in custody later the same day.

He imposed a ban on contacting the alleged victim or entering part of the Antrim Road where the shop is located.

The accused is due to appear back in court by video-link on May 13.

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