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Policeman's eye gouged as he investigated noisy gathering at flat in west Belfast, court hears

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 The officer had to be taken to hospital following the unprovoked attack

The officer had to be taken to hospital following the unprovoked attack

PA

The officer had to be taken to hospital following the unprovoked attack

A policeman's eye was allegedly gouged as he investigated complaints of a noisy gathering at a flat in west Belfast, a court heard today.

The officer had to be taken to hospital following the unprovoked attack in the early hours of Monday morning, it was claimed.

Adam Crawford, 21, is accused of inflicting the injuries outside his address on Lenadoon Avenue.

He appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and disorderly behaviour.

A PSNI constable contended: "This was a violent and unprovoked attack on officers responding to a complaint of noise phoned in by neighbours."

She disclosed that one of those who went to the scene sustained a serious eye injury.

"The defendant allegedly gouged the officer's eye with his fingers in the attack," the constable said.

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"The eye was bleeding, he had blurred vision, and he had to attend the RVH (Royal Victoria Hospital).

"This was a shocking attack on police officers trying to do their job."

A 17-year-old youth was also arrested and is due before a judge next month to face allegations of assault on police and disorderly behaviour.

Police claimed it was the latest in a number of incidents where they have been called out to Crawford's address.

Bail was opposed amid concerns over potential repercussions if he returned to his flat.

"The defendant and the co-accused actually went for the neighbours," the constable claimed.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott accepted that the officer had sustained injuries.

"There are obviously photographs which are quite graphic," he said.

Confirming Crawford denies the charge, Mr MacDermott claimed he has not yet had the opportunity to give his version of events.

"He would say there was a melee going on, and the factual circumstances will all come out in due course (from) the police body-worn footage," the lawyer submitted.

He added: "What his neighbours did or didn't do is completely irrelevant to this charge, police officers will be the ones giving evidence."

Granting bail, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ruled that Crawford must find a different address approved by police.

She imposed an alcohol ban, curfew, and prohibited him from entering Lenadoon Avenue or contacting his co-accused.

Crawford is due to appear in court again in four weeks time.


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