Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man attacked with baseball bat as he slept on sofa, court told

The court heard the man was attacked as he slept.
The court heard the man was attacked as he slept.

By Alan Erwin

Intruders allegedly launched a baseball bat assault on a man as he slept on his sofa, a court has heard.

Police said one of two men accused of carrying out the attack in east Belfast on Tuesday is an ex-partner of the complainant's girlfriend.

Joseph Vokes, 40, and Andrew Best, 36, appeared together at the city's Magistrates Court in connection with the suspected break-in.

Both men are charged with aggravated burglary inflicting grievous bodily harm.

They allegedly had a baseball bat as a weapon when the incident occurred at Lendrick Street.

Opposing bail, a detective said Vokes, of Finmore Court in Belfast, is an ex-partner of the injured party's girlfriend.

He claimed Best, from Berwick Road in the city, was willing to become involved in a domestic issue on behalf of his friend and co-accused.

According to police the alleged victim had been contacted and threatened through Facebook.

"The injured party has then fallen asleep on the sofa, the defendants entered the house and assaulted him with a baseball bat, punches and kicks," the detective claimed.

The alleged ordeal lasted several minutes, the court was told.

In cross-examination it was confirmed that both defendants denied involvement during police interviews.

Vokes and Best were granted bail on conditions including a ban on entering east Belfast and a prohibition on using social media.

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said: "This is, on the face of it, low-level thuggery.

"Had it been an organised crime gang that would have catapulted it into a very different category."

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