Belfast Telegraph

Man's head 'stamped on five times' in attack at Belfast 'party house,' court told

Police at the scene of an attack in the Glenbawn Avenue area of west Belfast on December 29th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police at the scene of an attack in the Glenbawn Avenue area of west Belfast on December 29th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

By Alan Erwin

A man's head was allegedly stamped on up to five times at a so-called "party house" in west Belfast, a court has heard.

Police said he suffered a bleed to the brain and a fractured nose and eye socket during an assault where a woman also sustained injuries trying to protect him.

Two men accused of carrying out the attack at Glenbawn Avenue in the Poleglass area early on Sunday morning were arrested amid attempts to wash blood-stained clothing, it was claimed.

Details emerged as 21-year-old Paul Robinson, of Fitzroy Avenue in Belfast, and Ryan Nesbitt, 18, of no fixed abode, appeared together at the city's Magistrates' Court.

They are jointly charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Nesbitt did not seek bail and was remanded in custody until January 27.

Opposing Robinson's application for release, an investigating detective said it was a serious assault which left the injured man with facial fractures, a bleed on the brain, and a puncture wound to his palm.

The woman got hurt as she lay across him in a bid to stop the assault, the court heard. 

Three separate witnesses have named the two defendants as being allegedly involved.

According to the detective one of the witnesses lives in a neighbouring property. He claims to have been woken by noises and observed Robinson standing or stamping on the man's head four or five times.

Both defendants were detained at another address, allegedly wearing clothes and shoes covered in blood while further blood-stained clothing was in a washing machine.

District Judge Mark Hamill was told the pair were asleep on a sofa, with police suspecting they were under the influence of drugs at the time.

Detectives are also still trying to locate a knife said to have been seen on  CCTV footage.

During interviews Robinson denied any involvement in the attack, claiming any blood on his clothes, footwear and watch was from a cut to his own head.

His lawyer, Pearse MacDermott, insisted a number of people had been at the scene of the alleged attack during that night.

"It is what is colloquially known as a party house, with people coming in and out on a regular basis," he said.

Setting out Robinson's claims that any blood found on his belongings was his own, Mr Macdermott added: "He made the case that he was hit on the head with a bottle."

Forensic tests are to be carried out on the seized clothing to establish the source.

Robinson was granted bail on conditions including a curfew, electronic tagging and a ban on entering parts of Belfast or contacting any witnesses.

He is also due back in court in four weeks time.

Judge Hamill said: "This is an extremely serious case, and ultimately the tale will be told by the forensics."

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