Horror as accused is stabbed at court cafe

Andrew Phelan

A MAN suffered serious injuries when he was stabbed at Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice - leaving a public area covered in blood.

Lawyers and members of the public watched in horror as the 31-year-old victim collapsed, bleeding heavily from a stab wound.

The injured man, James Ledden, was in a smoking area just outside the court's restaurant. It is unclear whether his assailant struck outside or in the precincts of the court complex.

Gardai are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident which happened just before Mr Ledden was due to appear in Dublin District Court on a public order charge.

A companion raised the alarm. Mr Ledden is believed to have suffered heavy blood loss and was rushed to the Mater Hospital.

Later in the afternoon, Mr Ledden's case was called before Judge Timothy Lucey at Dublin District Court. The injured man, with an address at Ferryman's Crossing, Dublin 1, had been charged with using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour.

He was pleading not guilty to the offence, which was alleged to have happened at Oriel Street, also in the north inner city, on August 10 last year.

"I am told he attended court, not realising he had been stabbed, went inside and collapsed," his solicitor Jenny McGeever said.

The case was adjourned to February 10 for an updated medical report. Mr Ledden was remanded on continuing bail.

An eyewitness said he felt it was unlikely the victim was stabbed before coming in as the second-floor smoking area was "covered in blood", with no trace of blood elsewhere in the building.