Belfast Telegraph

Man left with brain injury in iron bar attack stabbed mum, court told

Bail was denied.
Bail was denied.

By Alan Erwin

A man left with a severe brain injury following an iron bar attack by his mother's ex-partner allegedly stabbed and threatened to kill her, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Matthew Hunter, 27, knifed Julie Larsen in the back weeks before telling a social worker that he planned to "take her out".

He allegedly stated: "I'm the way I am because of her."

Hunter, of Finaghy Road South in Belfast, faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of an offensive weapon with intent, and making threats to kill.

In February last year his 44-year-old mother received a suspended sentence when she pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Larsen had attempted to clean up the scene after her partner at the time, Ryan Taylor, beat Hunter with an iron bar at her flat in Mount Vernon, north Belfast, in 2015.

Taylor, 32, of Templemore Street in the city, received a 15-year sentence for the injuries inflicted in the assault.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay confirmed on Wednesday that Hunter sustained a severe brain injury.

She claimed that when a social worker visited his home on July 2 he spoke about ending his life and issued the threat.

"He is allegedly to have said: 'But before I go I will take her out. I'm the way I am because of her'."

According to the prosecution Hunter repeated the threat a day later, confirming that he was referring to his mother.

Opposing bail, Mrs McKay argued that concerns were heightened by an alleged knife attack during a separate incident the previous month.

It was claimed that Hunter went to his mother's home on June 2 and, following an argument, took a kitchen knife and stabbed her in the back.

Larsen ran bleeding to a neighbour's home as the defendant's half-brother tried to restrain him and seize the blade, the court heard.

She required three stitches for a puncture wound to her back, Mrs McKay added.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey acknowledged the "fractious" background between his client and Larsen.

"This is not a normal mother-son relationship to say the least," he said.

The barrister also contended that Hunter had not acted on any alleged threats to kill.

However, Mr Justice Maguire refused bail after citing the need to safeguard the accused's mother.

He said: "In my opinion there is such a risk in this case, and that risk is of potentially grave seriousness."

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