Armed response team called for knife man

Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel
Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel

Police had to call an armed response unit after a 23-year-old Lurgan man confronted them with an ornamental machete style knife, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last week.

This was revealed during a bail application for Conor James McConville, Drumlin Drive, Lurgan, who appeared by way of videolink from Maghaberry prison.

The first set of charges against him allege that on April 21 this year he made to a constable a threat to kill him, disorderly behaviour, possession of an article with a point or blade and assault on a police officer.

McConville is also accused of two threats to kill police officers and possession of an offensive weapon on April 25 this year.

Opposing bail a police officer outlined the background to the charges.

He said that on April 21 at 4.40am McConville attended at the accident and emergency ward at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The officer added that the defendant was intoxicated and in an aggressive and volatile state. Members of the public in the area were alarmed.

He said that McConville was given some food by hospital staff and he brandished a butter knife at police, threatening to stick it in them. He then told them to ‘f—k off’ before throwing the knife at one of the officers.

McConville was arrested but released on police bail to reside at an address in Lurgan.

The officer told the court that on April 25 at 4.55am police were called to an address in Lurgan in relation to another matter and saw McConville in the house through the rear patio window.

He added that the defendant was holding a 12 inch blade machete type knife. He threatened to kill himself and then threatened to kill police.

An armed response unit was called and after negotiations lasting an hour McConville set down the knife.

The officer also said that there was another very serious matter involving McConville which happened between these two incidents. He had been interviewed but not yet charged.

He believed that because of these three incidents McConville was not only a risk to himself but also a serious risk to the public.

The officer pointed out that the offences had been committed while the defendant was on bail and he had a serious alcohol problem.

A solicitor representing McConville said that in relation to the first incident in the hospital his client was in a distressed state and intoxicated.

He added that he had to have five staples in the top of his head because he had been the victim of a vicious assault at his home that evening. He got some toast and tea and does not accept that he made any threat.

The solicitor said that regarding the second incident police were not called for anything to do with McConville and the matters would be vehemently contested.

He added that the offensive weapon was an ornamental knife which belonged to the owner of the house.

There was a bail address available to McConville outside Lurgan, added the solicitor, and his client was keen to leave the Lurgan area.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said he did not consider McConville a suitable candidate for bail and remanded him in custody to appear in court again on videolink on May 27.