Police claim 45-year-old man could have inflicted self-injuries as he allegedly struck out during a drink and drugs-fuelled row.
A man charged with attempted murder over a suspected machete attack in east Belfast may have sliced off part of his own ear, a court heard today.
Police claimed 45-year-old Thomas Lee Ross could have inflicted self-injuries as he allegedly struck out during a drink and drugs-fuelled row in the Greenway area on Tuesday.
A man in his thirties was taken to hospital in a critical condition following the incident near the Kilbroney House block of flats.
Ross, with an address at Greenway, faces further charges of possessing cocaine and having an offensive weapon - namely a machete - with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
A count of possessing explosives in suspicious circumstances has been withdrawn.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard the alleged assault happened after a fall-out between two friends.
According to an investigating detective Ross has a "keen interest" in weapons.
"There were a large amount of knives, crossbows, flares and what was initially believed to be a grenade," he said.
Two suspected deactivated firearms recovered at the scene have been sent for further analysis.
Questioned by defence counsel Kelly Doherty, the detective confirmed it was Ross who contacted police and alerted them to the deactivated guns.
Based on CCTV footage, the call was allegedly made eight minutes after the accused dragged the other man out into a corridor.
During the hearing it emerged that the top half of Ross' right ear has been cut off, along with a slice along the side of his head.
He claimed to have feared for his life, the court heard, and that he believed the injured party had inflicted his wounds.
But the detective contended that the other man was never seen holding a blade.
"Police believe it was possibly caused by (Ross) himself, whenever he was using the machete on the injured party," he said.
"As he's been bringing it down in one of the strikes the end of the machete has possibly taken the top of his ear off.
"There were no other knives found, no other weapons that appear to have been used in the assault and there were certainly no other weapons with any blood on it."
Bail was opposed amid concerns that Ross himself could be at risk.
"Because of the grenade the whole building was evacuated, and given the impact on local residents and the level of violence used there's a fear he could be harmed if he went back to his home again," the detective added.
However, Deputy District Judge Liam McStay ruled that the accused can be released on bail to an alternative address in Co Down.
Imposing an alcohol ban and prohibition on entering east Belfast, Mr McStay further ordered: "He's also not to have access to any weapons in the house."