Belfast judge grants Newtownabbey 'knife man' bail despite police objections

Belfast judge grants Newtownabbey ‘knife man’ bail despite police objections

A COURT has heard that a teenager accused of brandishing a large kitchen knife at a paramedic had suffered a suspected drug overdose.

Paul Williamson allegedly wielded the long blade at an ambulance crew which was called out to the Ballyduff area of Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

The 18-year-old face Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with having an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and common assault.

He is also accused of two counts of breaching an anti-social behaviour order by breaking a curfew and causing alarm and distress to the woman he is accused of attacking.

Williamson, of Ravelston Way, Newtownabbey, was arrested following an incident at a house on Tuesday.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he denies the offences – but has apologised if his actions inadvertently caused any fear.

However, police have objected to Williamson being put back on the streets.

A female police officer claimed Williamson had been abusing alcohol and drugs.

“He’s out of control, he just can’t help himself,” she added.

A prosecution lawyer confirmed that the alleged victim is a paramedic.

“The reason the ambulance service were attending the house was to treat him for a suspected overdose,” she told the court.

But a defence solicitor argued Williamson was entitled to refuse treatment.

He also pointed out: “The assault is an apprehension assault. He didn’t touch this lady.”

District judge Fiona Bagnall was told Williamson’s mother is a witness whose version of events may corroborate what he claims happened.

Despite acknowledging police concerns, Mrs Bagnall decided to grant bail.

Williamson was ordered to report to police daily, curfewed and subjected to electronic monitoring.

Banning him from taking drink or illegal substances, the judge added: “He is to submit to drug tests.”

The accused is due to appear again in court in four weeks’ time.


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