Sunday 25 February 2018

Man attacked with machetes and pickaxe handle as part of suspected feud between families over marital break-ups, court hears

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Stock image

Alan Erwin

A man was attacked with machetes and a pickaxe handle as part of a suspected feud between families over marital break-ups, the High Court heard yesterday.

Five men also brandishing slash hooks, wheel braces and knives targeted the victim in front of his wife outside a house in Banbridge, Co Down last week, a judge was told.

Details emerged as bail was granted to two of those accused of carrying out the attack.

Martin McDonagh (26), from Oak Grove in the town, faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possessing an offensive weapon in public and disorderly behaviour.

John Stokes (23), of the same address, is accused of criminal damage, disorderly behaviour, possession of an offensive weapon, common assault and theft of car keys.

Prosecution counsel Robin Steer said the victim saw five men run at him as he sat in a car with his wife in the Limewood area on June 20.

He claimed the two accused were among the group and also disclosed that the alleged victim had withdrawn a statement of complaint, diminishing the prosecution's case for keeping the accused in custody.

Asked to explain what triggered the violence, defence counsel pointed to a feud between two families that was allegedly linked to the break-up of two marriages.

Mr Justice Maguire granted bail to addresses outside Banbridge and ordered the defendants to stay out of the town.

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