Man ‘speared’ at local church


A man has been charged with stabbing a man with a ‘makeshift spear’ in the grounds of a church in Coleraine.

Nathan Robert McIntyre (19), of Weavers Court in the town, is alleged to have maliciously wounded a man with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.

He is further charged with possessing an offensive weapon, referred to on the charge sheet as a makeshift spear, with intent to wound.

McIntyre is also accused of assaulting another male and damaging a car wing mirror belonging to a third man on Friday June 24.

The accused appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from Hydebank Prison last Monday.

A prosecutor said a full file has been requested in the case and the accused was remanded in continuing custody until August.

Last week a priest had spoken of his shock that an alleged stabbing took place in the grounds of his church.

Fr Charles Keaney from St John’s Church in Coleraine said he wished to pass on his good wishes for a full recovery after a man, in his 60s, was injured.

A PSNI spokesman said at the time the man’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The alleged incident happened late on Friday, June 24 at the church in The Heights area of Coleraine.

A police spokesman said on Monday: “A 19-year-old man has been arrested following an incident in The Heights area of Coleraine on the evening of Friday 24 June.

“At about 10.20pm, a male entered church grounds in the Drumard Drive area and kicked the wing mirror of a parked car.

“The male left the area but later returned armed with a knife.

“A man, aged in his 60s, was stabbed in the back before the male left the area again.

“The man required hospital treatment for his injury which is not believed to be life threatening.

“The 19 year old man was arrested in the Westbourne Crescent area on the afternoon of Sunday 26 June on suspicion of wounding with intent, common assault, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.”

The injured man is a member of the public and is not a member of the clergy.

Last week, Fr Keaney, speaking at his parochial house at Laurel Hill around half a mile from the church, said the church grounds are open and members of the public often use it as a shortcut.

Fr Keaney said: “It is a shock that such a thing would happen anywhere, that it was in church grounds makes no difference.

“Whatever the reason there is no justification for violence.

“My thoughts are with the injured person.”

An Ambulance Service spokesman said last week they received a call around 11.20pm that a male had been stabbed.

“Police were at the scene. A male had been stabbed in the stomach at St John’s Roman Catholic Church and we took him to Causeway Hospital.

“We were on the scene in less than five minutes.”