Man stabbed in unprovoked attack in north Belfast, court told

Laganside Court, Belfast
Laganside Court, Belfast

A man was stabbed in the chest during an unprovoked attack in north Belfast, a court heard today.

The victim was wounded after being contacted by the man police claim tried to kill him, a judge was told.



Details emerged as 44-year-old Thomas Bates appeared in the dock charged with attempting to murder George Kincaid.

Bates, from the north of the city but with a current address at Hillview Green in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, is also accused of having an offensive weapon, namely a knife, and attempted possession of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

All of the alleged offences were committed on August 22.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard that after being charged Bates was released police bail in “exceptional circumstances” due to health issues.

A detective revealed that the accused is due to undergo heart surgery next week.

As Bates made his first court appearance a defence lawyer sought to have a ban on entering north Belfast lifted.

Brendan Blaney said his client wanted to return to the family home where he has lived for the last 18-20 years.

But the investigating detective replied: “This is an attempted murder (case). A male was stabbed in the chest on Friday August 22.

“We believe that the defendant initiated the contact with this male and the male walked over to him having been called.

“It was a somewhat unprovoked attack. There seems to be a bit of ill-feeling between two families and we believe this has culminated in this attack.”

Although no location for the incident was given in court, the policeman added that the alleged victim lives less than a mile from a house linked to Bates.

“I don’t believe anywhere in north Belfast would be suitable.”

Refusing the defence application, District Judge Amanda Henderson said: “I can’t ignore the background of the offence and charge.”

Bates was released on continuing bail to return to court on October 28.

As well as keeping out of north Belfast, he must also abide by a curfew and have no contact with either George Kincaid, Stephen Kincaid or John Boreland.