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Co Down couple allegedly attacked with bats as part of a neighbourhood noise dispute, court told


Belfast Magistrates’ Court

Belfast Magistrates’ Court

PA Archive/PA Images

Belfast Magistrates’ Court

A Co Down couple were allegedly attacked with bats as part of a neighbourhood dispute over noise, a court was told on Monday.

Up to three intruders carried out the assault at their home in Beech End, Holywood in the early hours of December 26, it was claimed.

Details emerged as a man living in the flat above them faced charges connected to the incident.

James Hamilton, 38, is accused of burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon - namely a baton.

Belfast Magistrates' Court was told police called to the apartment complex discovered the couple with multiple injuries.

The woman, who was said to be in the early stages of pregnancy, had cuts to her head and stomach. Her partner had a lump on his temple and a bite wound to the shoulder.

They alleged that three men with bats had attacked them in their home.

According to their account one of the assailants was the defendant, known to them as 'Hammy'.

Blood was discovered on the hallway floor and throughout the flat, a detective said.

A bloodstained jacket and knife located in the property was confirmed as belonging to the woman's partner.

One of her children told officers her mother had been arguing with her boyfriend, "throwing cups and playing with knives".

The child stated that she then went to an upstairs flat to get help.

Police forced entry to Hamilton's apartment and seized a flick baton, the court heard.

He was arrested along with another man present in the property.

District Judge Mark Hamill was told the couple are currently refusing to provide statements to police.

However, the woman denied that her partner had been violent towards her.

"She stated that she believed they were attacked due to an ongoing dispute with her neighbour about noise and using his back garden," the detective said.

Hamilton had allegedly confronted her on a previous occasion, shouting that he "runs Holywood".

She claimed that left in a state of fear and had then acquired knives in case of any future attack.

Defence barrister Paddy Taggart argued that Hamilton only responded to an upset child.

"An independent witness will verify that the child was crying and distressed before Mr Hamilton and his co-accused attended the flat," counsel stressed.

Granting bail to an alternative address, District Judge Mark Hamill banned Hamilton from Holywood or contact with the alleged victims.

He said: "This is a pretty flimsy Crown case at the moment, given the absence of a written complaint by the two supposed complainants."

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old man arrested at the scene has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Belfast Telegraph