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Swords and nail-studded bat found in Belfast home of assault accused, court told

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The accused appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court (Niall Carson/PA)

The accused appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court (Niall Carson/PA)

The accused appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Police discovered swords and a bat studded with nails in the east Belfast home of a man accused of assaulting a mother and son, a court has been told.

Vincent Vidal allegedly bit the other man when a row with his neighbours turned violent.

But the 37-year-old defendant claims he was knocked unconscious himself and suffered broken fingers during clashes last Friday.

Vidal, of Lendrick Street in the city, is charged with two counts of common assault and possessing an offensive weapon - namely a machete.

He is further accused of cultivating a cannabis plant found at his home.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police called to the scene were told Vidal had assaulted a man and his mother who live on the same street.

He allegedly bit the other man on the finger during the incident.

Officers searched Vidal's home and discovered two swords and a bat with nails in it, a PSNI officer said.

Defence counsel Sean O'Hare argued, however, that his client came off worse in the altercation with his neighbours.

"He was knocked unconscious, and when he regained consciousness in hospital police were waiting to speak to him," the barrister said.

District Judge Mark Hamill was told Vidal sustained broken fingers, chipped or broken teeth and required seven stitches.

"From the defendant's point of view he is the victim," Mr O'Hare added.

With an address in north Belfast proposed, Vidal was granted bail.

"There's certainly two sides to this one," Judge Hamill acknowledged.

He banned Vidal from entering Lendrick Street or contacting any prosecution witnesses, and told him to appear in court again on June 22.

Belfast Telegraph