‘Victim of family fight had axe embedded in his back’

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A would-be murder victim, allegedly attacked by his brother and nephew, was found by police with an ornamental axe still “embedded” in his back, a court has heard.

Appearing in the dock of Downpatrick Magistrates’ Court jointly charged with attempting to murder Christopher Daniel ‘Gus’ Lynch on July 2 were his 42-year-old brother Martin Lynch and his son Sean-Paul Lynch, 18.

The father and son, both with an address at Carraig View, Raholp in Downpatrick, are also jointly charged with possessing a baseball bat.

Martin Lynch faces a further allegation of causing actual bodily harm to his brother on July 1 while his son is also charged with causing criminal damage to a car belonging to Gus Lynch’s partner, Elizabeth Clodagh Cunningham, on the same date.

Police were first called to the scene just before midnight on Tuesday over what appeared to be a family fight at the Lynch family home.

It was reported that a glass had been smashed and that Gus Lynch had received a head injury when Sean-Paul Lynch hit him with a beer can.

The father and son, allegedly armed with baseball bats, then chased their victim from the scene and the couple left after Sean-Paul allegedly smashed a car window with a bat and Martin hit his brother on the head with his bat.

There was a second incident just over an hour later when Gus Lynch returned to the property.

When officers arrived at the scene, Gus was “lying face down in the rear passenger seat [of Ms Cunningham’s car] and they could immediately see there was an axe embedded in his lower back”.

A detective told the court that 45-year-old Gus remains in the Ulster Hospital but that his injuries are not life threatening.

The detective also revealed that the father and son were on bail for serious assault at the time of the incident and have relevant criminal convictions.

District Judge Greg McCourt refused applications for bail.