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Belfast man with knife told police he had it to 'carve roast chicken'

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Belfast High Court.

Belfast High Court.

Belfast High Court.

A man stopped with a 9" kitchen knife while on bail for allegedly assaulting four police officers had it to carve a roast chicken, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Henry Hayes was stumbling about with the blade in his jacket when arrested by police on Belfast's Shore Road earlier this month.

But the 25-year-old claimed he had collected it for a meal being prepared by his sister.

Defence barrister Joe Brolly insisted: "She was making a roast chicken and she asked him to walk up to her boyfriend's house to get a carving knife."

Hayes, of Graymount Drive in Newtownabbey, is accused of possessing an article with a blade or point over the incident on January 8.

At the time he was on bail charged with four counts of assault on police, criminal damage, resisting police, and common assault.

Previous courts were told he allegedly attacked officers after being woken at a house in Belfast last October.

It was claimed that he head-butted, punched and kicked constables in the face during checks on his whereabouts.

But defence lawyers advanced counter allegations that Hayes was himself allegedly beaten so badly that his dentures were knocked out.

Mobile phone footage of the incident was said to have been recorded by his sister.

Setting out details of the new charge, a Crown lawyer said police were told a man was causing disturbances at an Emo garage on the Shore Road.

When Hayes was stopped he was stumbling and his pupils appeared dilated, the court heard.

Searches recovered the kitchen knife with a 9" blade inside his coat, according to the prosecutor.

She said tests carried out on him had to be stopped early amid fears he would injure himself by falling over.

However, Mr Brolly countered that Hayes was close to his sister's home when detained.

"There's no suggestion he was using the knife for any nefarious purpose," the barrister added.

"He was entirely docile and cooperative with police."

Granting bail once more, Her Honour Judge McReynolds indicated it was a "borderline" case.

She reinforced conditions including a curfew and electronic monitoring, and imposed a further ban on entering the Emo garage.

Belfast Telegraph