A man accused of causing “quite significant injuries” to a man he stabbed eleven times in Coleraine bolted out a back door when police checked he was at home as part of his bail conditions, the town’s Magistrates Court heard on Monday.
Ryan Millen (20), of Boyne Row in Upperlands near Maghera, is alleged to have caused grievous bodily harm with intent to a man, who is from the Ballymoney area, on Saturday October 6 and had been released on bail on October 8 this year.
On October 8 a police officer objected to bail and said that at 2.25am on Saturday October 6 police received a call from Ambulance Service that a male had suffered “multiple stab wounds” to his abdomen and legs at a house in Coleraine and had been taken to hospital by ambulance.
The court had heard witnesses saw Millen carrying a pink-handled kitchen knife before he left the scene.
First aid was given to the injured man before an ambulance arrived.
The police officer said Millen was later located at 6.25am on October 6 in the Riverside Retail Park area of Coleraine.
She said the victim was taken to hospital after suffering “eleven” wounds which each required between three and eight stitches.
The officer said Millen claimed to police he had been assaulted by the injured man and another male and that as he had “feared for his life” he had acted in “self-defence”.
A defence lawyer told the October 8 court that if released on bail any risk could be addressed by excluding Millen from Coleraine as he lived around twenty miles away.
The lawyer said the defendant had made his case during interview and “there are significant triable issues in this matter”.
Releasing Millen on bail on October 8, District Judge Peter King said said the bail address in Upperlands was far enough away from the north coast but he barred the defendant from entering Coleraine, except for court appearances, and Ballymoney.
Millen was also not to attempt to contact the injured man or witnesses and had to sign bail at Magherafelt Police Station three times a week.
He had a night time curfew when he was to be electronically tagged and he was not to consume alcohol.
On Monday, Millen was back in the dock in Coleraine Court and he accepted he had breached bail.
A PSNI detective constable told the court Millen did not answer the door at his home on October 28 to police doing a bail check and on November 1 although he did open the door he then ran out the back door with the indication being that he had been drinking in breach of his bail and alcohol bottles were found in the house.
The officer said Millen was not present at the house on November 2 and on November 4 when G4S – which fits and monitors electronic tags – arrived to do an equipment check at 12.24am they were unable to get access.
Later that same date at 11.47pm Millen was present but he was verbally abusive to G4S staff.
The police officer told the court Millen was initially charged over a “serious attack” on October 6 which had resulted in “quite significant injuries” being received by the victim.
The officer said the defendant had also missed a couple of bail signings in Magherafelt.
The officer said her application to the court was for bail to be revoked and that Millen had been arrested at the courthouse on Monday where he had attended voluntarily.
The court heard that although the judge’s note from October 8 was that there was a no alcohol condition on the bail an error had occurred and that had not gone onto the court’s computer system.
At Monday’s court, District Judge Liam McNally said the defendant, however, had been aware of the no alcohol condition because a letter had been received from his solicitor asking for the defendant to be allowed to drink at home.
The police officer said the full file in the case was ready to be submitted to prosecutors in the next few days.
The officer confirmed to the judge the defendant was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the alleged stabbing.
Defence barrister Thomas McKeever told Monday’s Court Millen had been “extremely candid” with police regarding the bail breaches.
The lawyer said the defendant has issues with alcohol and has been engaging with Community Addictions and had “kept his head down in the past week”.
Judge McNally said he took into account the defendant had attended court voluntarily on Monday and had accepted the bail breaches.
The judge said an alcohol ban had been on the previous judge’s notes from October 8 but was not uploaded to the court system and the defendant could therefore count himself “fortunate” to get bail again.
He reiterated the bail conditions which included presenting himself at the door and he was not to be in possession of or under the influence of alcohol at any time or any place.
The judge said he was keeping that condition as it was because the defence lawyer said Millen had been “staying off the drink” in recent days.
Adjourning the case to December 10 Judge McNally said he may review that condition at that stage and limit the drink ban to public places if there are no more bail breaches.