Man jailed for vicious knife attack on cousins after drinking session
A 40-year-old man who stabbed two cousins in an early morning knife attack at a block of flats in Belfast was jailed for eight-and-a-half years yesterday.
John James Bell was arrested outside the flats on Limestone Road brandishing two bloodstained knives, and threatening to kill three police officers as he was being detained in October 2015.
Initially facing two charges of attempted murder, Bell admitted two counts of maliciously and unlawfully wounding the cousins with intent to cause them grievous bodily harm.
While one of the victims was stabbed five times in the upper body, the other victim sustained very serious wounds which injured his internal organs.
He was rushed to hospital where he received 24 units of blood.
Sending Bell to jail, Judge David McFarland said the more seriously injured man was "lucky to survive the incident", and he praised medical staff who saved his life.
Bell, from Broom Park in Dunmurry, was told he will serve half his sentence in prison, with the remainder on licence.
Bell, who at the time lived in the same block of flats as one of his victims, had been drinking with the cousins and had called police to tell them two men tried to stab him so he stabbed them back.
When police arrived at the flats Bell came out of the building armed with two knives. One of the men had been attacked close to the entrance to the flats, while the more seriously injured man was found lying 150 yards away covered in blood.
Prosecuting barrister Peter Magill said that prior to the stabbing the two cousins and Bell had been drinking in a flat, an argument broke out, and Bell was asked to leave.
Moments later he was captured on CCTV standing outside the block of flats "shouting up and asking the cousins for a fight". One went down to the door and was attacked, and when the second man appeared he was chased by Bell and stabbed five times.