Belfast Telegraph

Woman accused of stabbing attack at party fascinated by knives, court is told

A young woman who told police she has a fascination with knives has appeared in court accused of stabbing a man. (stock photo)
A young woman who told police she has a fascination with knives has appeared in court accused of stabbing a man. (stock photo)

By George Jackson

A young woman who told police she has a fascination with knives has appeared in court accused of stabbing a man.

Laura Francis (27) appeared at Londonderry Magistrates Court on Monday following her arrest on Sunday.

She is charged with stabbing a 22-year-old man with a knife.

The court was told that the alleged incident took place at an alcohol and drug-fuelled party in a house at St Brecan's Park in the Waterside area of Derry.

Francis, from Joseph Place in the Bogside, denies stabbing the injured party in the shoulder.

She also denies possessing a knife with intent to cause the victim grievous bodily harm, but she admits assaulting two police officers.

She struck one of the officers on the neck and spat in the face of the second officer and said "enjoy Hep C".

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A detective constable told the court that police received a 999 call from a person who reported that a man had been stabbed at the party and that the knife victim was bleeding profusely.

She said that when police attended the address they found the victim covered in his own blood.

According to the detective, there were lots of people in the house who seemed to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

The victim was taken to hospital and treated for the stabbing injury and the defendant was found at the rear of a nearby house.

Following her arrest she was placed in a police car where she assaulted the two officers.

She also had to be restrained while in custody in Strand Road PSNI Station.

The police witness said the defendant was interviewed three times. She made no comment during two of those interviews.

However, in her third interview she denied the knife-related offences but admitted the two assault charges and apologised to police.

Objecting to bail, the detective constable added: "She has a propensity for violence and says she has a fascination for knives.

"She also said she has drugs and alcohol issues and the danger is if granted bail coming up to Christmas we believe she will engage in further binges.

"While she did not know the victim in this case, she knows other witnesses who have yet to be spoken to."

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the defendant was extremely remorseful for assaulting the two police officers.

"Everybody at the party seemed to be under the influence of something," he said.

"She has been attending the Northlands Centre for addiction issues and is due to start a three-month residential course soon."

District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant was clearly not addressing her addiction issues when she attended the party at the weekend.

Bail was refused and the defendant was remanded in custody until January 16.

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