Belfast Telegraph

Thug who knifed man for 'belittling' him on day of drinking jailed

Darren Rankin, from East Street in Newtownards, admitted a charge of wounding with intent and of possessing a knife on March 11, 2017 (stock photo)
Darren Rankin, from East Street in Newtownards, admitted a charge of wounding with intent and of possessing a knife on March 11, 2017 (stock photo)

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Co Down man who stabbed another man at a house in Donaghadee after he felt he had been belittled was handed a four-and-a-half-year sentence by a judge yesterday.

Belfast Crown Court heard the stabbing occurred following a day's drinking in a local bar.

Darren Rankin, from East Street in Newtownards, admitted a charge of wounding with intent and of possessing a knife on March 11, 2017.

Before passing sentence, Judge Stephen Fowler QC was told that Rankin was one of a number of people who had been drinking in a bar before the group went to a friend's house.

Prosecuting barrister Gareth Purvis said that while at the property there was some "horseplay" in which another man "got the better" of Rankin and he felt "belittled".

Rankin then left but returned a short time later with a knife in the waistband of his trousers.

The court heard that the defendant proceeded to use the weapon to stab the other man twice.

The 34-year old subsequently fled the scene but was chased by a group.

The members of the group then caught Rankin and beat him.

Meanwhile, the injured man was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, where he received treatment for the two stab wounds.

One of the wounds was to his stomach and the other to his flank, the court was told.

Mr Purvis said the injured man was kept in hospital for several days for observation before being released.

The prosecutor added the victim had experienced no further medical complications and had since made a full recovery from his injuries.

The prosecutor also told Judge Fowler that Rankin "has a criminal record but for nothing as serious as this".

Defence barrister Tom MacCreanor said that his client had used his time on remand "as a useful period of reflection".

He added that the defendant had since expressed remorse for his actions on the night in question.

Mr MacCreanor explained to the court that at the time of the incident his client was "heavily under the influence of alcohol".

The defence barrister added that this, coupled with "demons that haunt him" and a perceived threat, had caused his client to lose control "in a way that is utterly unacceptable".

Mr MacCreanor also pointed out to Judge Fowler that Rankin "did not escape unscathed" and suffered injuries in the aftermath of his attack.

This included, he said, facial injuries.

Judge Fowler handed Rankin a sentence of four years and six months.

This prison tariff will be divided between two years and three months in prison and the same period on licence after Rankin is released.

Passing down the sentence, the judge told the court: "This was an unprovoked attack on a relatively unsuspecting injured party in his own home who was stabbed more than once."

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