Belfast Telegraph

Masked intruders attacked Belfast man in bed with claw hammer, court told

By Alan Erwin

Masked intruders allegedly attacked a man with a claw hammer as he lay in bed with his girlfriend, the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors claimed he was targeted at the woman's east Belfast home in the early hours of April 29.

One man has been charged with the violent break-in based on tattoos on his neck, a judge was told.

Richard Mailey, 24, of Brookvale Drive in the city, denies aggravated burglary, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

During a bail application Crown lawyer Robin Steer described how two men with their faces covered allegedly broke into the house at Geary Road.

It was claimed they entered the bedroom and attacked the complainant with a claw hammer in front of his girlfriend.

A decommissioned firearm worth £400 was stolen in the raid, according to the charges.

"The injured party gave chase with a pick-axe handle," Mr Steer said.

That man claims he recognised Mailey from tattoos spotted on his neck, the court heard.

He also allegedly heard the unidentified accomplice shout "Get in the car Ricky".

Defence barrister Declan Quinn countered that an alibi witness will back Mailey's case that he wasn't involved.

"If it happened it was nothing to do with him," he said.

Counsel argued that the false allegations against Mailey were linked to the complainant being in a relationship with his former partner.

Mr Quinn also disclosed that his client suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, requiring supported accommodation for his complex mental health needs.

Describing the alleged offences as "very violent", Lord Justice Treacy adjourned the bail application after studying a doctor's report.

The judge told the parties he wanted to make more inquiries about the availability of the appropriate accommodation.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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