MAN known to police after previously being jailed for the horror stabbing of a man with a makeshift ‘Zulu spear’, which he said he had been given by a friend because he was nicknamed ‘Swahili’, was twice detected driving whilst disqualified after being spotted by off-duty PSNI officers.
Nathan McIntyre (23), of Laurel Avenue, Coleraine, came to police attention in a BMW which had a loud exhaust on January 10, 2018, and was then seen behind the wheel of a Volvo in Portstewart on October 28 this year.
The defendant was at Coleraine Magistrates Court for sentencing on charges of driving whilst disqualified and being uninsured.
The court heard that on January last year an off duty temporary police inspector was in a vehicle stopped at traffic lights when attention was drawn to a BMW with a defective exhaust and McIntyre was recognised.
The officer followed McIntyre and noted the number plate and although McIntyre’s car then went out of sight an on-duty police patrol later spotted it and the defendant was arrested.
The court heard that on October 28 this year a police patrol responded to a report from an off-duty officer regarding McIntyre in a Volvo V50 in Portstewart.
In relation to this year’s incident, a defence barrister said McIntyre had “stupidly” taken a chance and had taken the car for a valet before selling it on.
He said luckily for McIntyre the police had not seized the vehicle and he was able to sell it and make a profit of several hundred pounds.
The lawyer said McIntyre had a record including a serious case involving violence which had previously been dealt with at the Crown Court.
No direct details of that case were given to Coleraine Magistrates Court this week but it is believed to be a reference to McIntyre’s spear incident.
In 2017, Antrim Crown Court was told McIntyre was nicknamed ‘Swahili’ and he had downed Buckfast before stabbing a person with a ‘Zulu spear’.
A defence QC had claimed the defendant had the spear – a household knife attached to a pole – made for him by a friend because of his nickname.
In that case McIntyre had told police he believed he was “descended from a tribe” and the Crown Court heard that at the time he had been attending his GP because of “paranoia”.
A prosecutor said that in 2016 a number of individuals were attending a church hall at St John’s Church in the Heights area of Coleraine, and after hearing a commotion outside they saw a male, who turned out to be McIntyre, in the vicinity of a car which had its wing mirror damaged.
McIntyre shouted abuse and was threatening to start a fight but left and before police arrived he returned and ran through a graveyard and ran at the group, lashing out and trying to punch a man. He said he was “going to kill them” and ran towards nearby Weavers Court.
A number of people followed him when McIntyre emerged with a kitchen knife on a long pole which had been described by Judge Desmond Marrinan at the Crown Court as a “makeshift spear”.
A prosecutor said McIntyre advanced whilst making a threat to kill him and as a man turned to run to get away he was stabbed in the back and left with a wound which was seven centimetres deep.
The injured man was taken to hospital but was discharged and made a full recovery with medics saying it was very lucky vital organs were not struck.
McIntyre had pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to maliciously wound the victim with intent to do him grievous bodily harm; making threats to kill the man; assault on another man and causing criminal damage to a car wing mirror and was given a three year sentence.
At Coleraine Court this week District Judge Peter King heard McIntyre’s partner is pregnant and he has the opportunity of work.
The judge said a Probation Report showed that a period of licence in connection with the Crown Court case had “allowed a sea change in your behaviour”.
He said the disqualified driving cases merited custody but as a direct alternative to jail he ordered McIntyre to do 200 hours of Community Service and banned him from driving for two years.
The judge told McIntyre he had been “within a whisker of going to prison”.