A security guard was freed on bail today accused of attempted murder in what a judge described as a "very frenzied and horrible attack" arising from an apparent "road rage incident."
Standing in the dock of Lisburn Magistrates Court in a pink open neck shirt and blue suit, 26-year-old Peter Colin Baron Maloney was charged with the attempted murder of Brian Ward on Thursday.
Detective Constable Robinson said he believed he could connect Maloney to the offence and that police were objecting to bail on the grounds that given the extreme violence used in the attack, Maloney might react in a similar way toward anyone else who crossed him.
The officer described how Mr Ward remains in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital and is still unconscious as a result of the eight stab wounds he sustained in the incident.
The incident arose just after 7pm in the Clanrolla Park area of Craigavon as a result of what DC Robinson described as an episode of apparent "road rage," adding that when police arrived at the scene, they found Mr Ward "lying in a pool of blood."
He told the court two independent witnesses had given statements that it appeared Mr Ward took issue with the way a dark coloured Mercedes car was being driven in the area as it had "almost knocked him down."
According to the witnesses Mr Ward, who did not appear hurt before the incident, stopped the Mercedes and after a verbal altercation, both he and the defendant were involved "in a scuffle" when the witnesses walked away.
The detective recounted that when they looked back, the Mercedes sped away and they saw Mr Ward initially bent over as though winded but then he collapsed and was rushed to hospital as he "had lost a lot of blood."
DC Robinson said as well as the stab wounds to his head, neck, flank and arm pit, doctors were also treating Mr Ward for a "punctured lung" but that as he is still unconscious, police have yet to get his account of what happened.
Maloney, a night shift security guard from Drumarg Villas in Armagh, contacted the police himself regarding the damage which had been caused to his Mercedes car and he was arrested in relation to the stabbing.
The car has been seized but has yet to be examined, said the officer adding that while Mr Ward's clothes were heavily blood stained, there was "no obvious" blood stains on clothing seized from Maloney.
A search of the car uncovered a "straight razor" which Maloney claimed he was taking to be sharpened and similar to the car, it will be sent for forensic tests, said the detective.
DC Robinson told the court that Maloney gave interviewing officers a prepared statement at the start of the first interview and then refused to answer further questions put to him.
According to his defence solicitor, it had been a "very detailed" statement where Maloney described Mr Ward as appearing "spaced out" as he stood in the middle of the street with blood already on his face, alleging that when he stopped the injured party "thumped" his car, ripped the badge from the bonnet and was "screaming" incoherently.
Maloney claimed, said the solicitor, that all he did when he got out was to "shove" Mr Ward out of the way onto grass nearby before getting back into his car and going to work.
The solicitor submitted that as Maloney has "zero" criminal convictions with a steady job, a supportive family and a bail address well away from the area, he could safely be released on bail.
Releasing Maloney on his own bail of £1,000 with two sureties of £1,000 each, District Judge Rosie Watters said while it appeared to be a "very frenzied and horrible attack," the defendant had a clear criminal record and "there's a presumption in favour of bail."
Ordering Maloney to appear before Craigavon Magistrates Court on 1 April, Judge Watters barred him from entering Craigavon and from contacting either the two witnesses or his alleged victim and his family.