Belfast man convicted of stabbing older brother

Pacemaker Press 22/5/2013  Laganside Court Building  in Belfast City centre  Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 22/5/2013 Laganside Court Building in Belfast City centre Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A 45-year-old Belfast man was convicted on Wednesday of stabbing his older brother, but cleared of the more serious charge of wounding him with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

The Belfast Crown Court jury of seven men and five women also acquitted Phillip James McDowell of possessing the knife used in the stabbing, and convicting him of the alternative wounding charge.

McDowell, from Harper Street, in the Short Strand area of the city, had denied stabbing his 57-year-old brother Maurice Macdowell on May 28, 2014, in what was described as a street brawl of “fisty-cuffs”.

The court had heard that there was a long-standing fallout between the brothers, who each blamed the other for being armed with a knife in a public place.

However, while Maurice Macdowell accepted he started the fight in which he was stabbed twice, his brother claimed the stabbing occurred as they rolled around the ground fighting.

In evidence, he claimed that his brother had taken the folding knife out of his pocket before stabbing him once in the forearm and then the back.