Belfast Telegraph

Alleged burglar beat neighbour with hammer in bid to kill him, High Court hears

By Alan Erwin

An alleged burglar beat his neighbour about the head with a hammer in a bid to kill him, it was claimed in the High Court today.

Martin McNally broke into the victim's home on the outskirts of Belfast after warning he was going to "cut" him, according to the prosecution.

He allegedly stole £1,500 worth of belongings in the raid, including a samurai sword and dagger.

McNally, of Alina Gardens in Dunmurry, is charged with aggravated burglary and the attempted murder of Jamie Thompson.

The 33-year-old faces a further count of possessing offensive weapons with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely murder.

Details emerged as he sought compassionate bail to make a nursing home visit to his mother.

McNally allegedly forced his way into Mr Thompson's flat in the same block on January 24 while armed with a hammer and screwdriver.

Prosecution counsel Stephanie Boyd claimed he had been wearing a balaclava but removed it during the attack.

"He struck the injured party to the head with the hammer, and in trying to protect himself the injured party sustained a broken left arm," she said.

McNally also allegedly picked up a knife and threw it at Mr Thompson, saying he was going to kill him.

According to the prosecutor he then stole the sword and dagger, along with a games console, mobile phone and bin.

A witness was said to have spotted him leaving the flat.

Opposing his temporary release, Mrs Boyd claimed there was a risk he could flee.

She also expressed concerns for Mr Thompson, describing him as a vulnerable person who initially refused attention despite his significant injuries.

Although McNally's mother was described as having a chronic medical condition, the prosecution disputed that there had been a recent deterioration.

The frequency of visits by her son was called into question in a further part of the objection.

But Joel Lindsay, defending, countered: "The information we received is she is gravely ill and deteriorating."

He stressed that McNally just wanted out of custody for a period of hours to see his mother.

Adjourning the application, Lord Justice Coghlin directed police to obtain a statement on her current condition.

He also ordered checks to be carried out on how often McNally has paid visits

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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