Belfast Telegraph

Three men remanded in custody after vicious brawl in Lisburn

Stephen McKeown
Stephen McKeown
The men appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court (Niall Carson/PA)
John Toner

By John Toner

Three men have been remanded in custody on Saturday following a vicious brawl which left one victim with stab wounds exposing his skull.

James “Jim” McCaugherty (53), Stephen McKeown (27) and his brother Scott McKeown (24) all appeared separately before Lisburn Magistrates Court yesterday morning as a result of the brutal melee.

All three were refused bail until suitable addresses could be established.

The court heard police were called shortly after 5pm on Boxing Day to a fight at a block of flats at 33 Sloan Street, Lisburn, Co Antrim, with reports that one man was armed with a knife.

An officer told the court upon arrival police entered the courtyard of the apartment complex and saw groups of people shouting at each other and several men with injuries.

Colin McKeown, father of Stephen and Scott, told police he had been in his flat shortly before an altercation had ensued between the three and Jim McCaugherty.

In the violent struggle which followed a 14-inch knife was “lashed about” and both McCaugherty and Colin McKeown both suffered injuries, the court was told.

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A police officer told the court Colin McKeown was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast with a fractured skull and two cuts to his head “right down to the bone” which required stitching, whilst also suffering scratches and a black eye.

Mr McKeown was released on police bail after being hospitalised whilst sons Stephen and Scott were arrested along with Jim McCaugherty. All four had initially been arrested in relation to the incident.

A solicitor on behalf of McCaugherty argued there was not enough evidence to deny his client bail without CCTV footage and applied for him to be bailed to an address in Dundrum, Co Down.

Police objected to bail on a number of grounds including the violent nature of the alleged incident and the fact he is known to all involved.

District judge Mark McGarrity refused bail, saying: “I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence to connect the defendant to the charges.

“Without a suitable address he is not suitable for bail.”

Shortly after McCaugherty appeared in the dock, brothers Scott and Stephen McKeown were produced to face charges relating to the same incident.

Following a brief hearing the pair were also refused bail on the grounds a suitable address could not be established for the pair until one had been secured for McCaugherty.

Jim McCaugherty, charged with assault and possession of a knife, and Stephen and Scott McKeown, both charged with assault, all of Sloan Street in Lisburn were refused bail and will re-appear via-video link on Monday.

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