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Judge Pledges Crackdown In Coleraine As He Hands Out Prison Term To Man Involved In Ballysally Knife Brawl

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A judge said the recent stabbing of two women as they walked in Coleraine town centre means he will “not tolerate” people carrying knives as he jailed a man for his role in an unconnected knife brawl. District Judge Liam McNally said knife crime is “abhorrent” and can lead to very serious injuries.

The judge made reference to a double stabbing on January 13 in Coleraine town centre when two women were injured as he pledged to crackdown on knife crime. The judge was commenting as he sentenced a 62-year-old man to a three months jail term following a street brawl involving knives in Coleraine’s Ballysally estate.

At the town’s Magistrates Court, Jacob McLaughlin, of Danes Hill Road, in Ballysally, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing a knife in a public place outside his home in October last year. A prosecutor said police received a report of six males fighting at Danes Hill Road and that some were armed with knives.

The defendant claimed he had ran out with a kitchen knife after alleging a male had “threatened to cut his son’s throat”. A defence solicitor accepted the incident must have been very frightening to anyone witnessing it.

She said the defendant had been preparing an evening meal when three males turned up at the door of his flat and started shouting aggressively at his son. The lawyer said McLaughlin’s son had gone outside and had been hit on the face with a beer can and one of the trio who had come to the property had a knife.She said McLaughlin had ran out after his son and took a knife “for defensive purposes”.

McLaughlin was given a three months jail term but he was released on £500 bail pending appeal. The court ordered that the knife be forfeited and confiscated.

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