The man charged with trying to murder an autistic teenager appeared in court on Monday – as his alleged victim looked on.
Ryan Craig appeared at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court for an extremely brief hearing.
He stands accused of attempting to kill Scott Vineer, an autistic 17-year-old, in September 2012.
In the days immediately after the attack police had said they were mystified as to how or why the attack had taken place, and there was a widespread appeal for information.
At the hearing, Scott Vineer sat wearing a black top and silver-coloured necklace whilst his mother and stepfather joined him on the busy public benches.
They waited patiently as a series of less serious cases were heard during the morning via videolink.
Then just after noon, the accused was called to appear in person.
Mr Craig, from Ashmount Gardens in south-east Lisburn, will turn 19 in just under three weeks’ time.
He initially went to sit but was asked to stand as he was told the charge against him.
Sporting short hair and wearing a navy-and-green sports top, he confirmed his name and was told that the charge was “attempting to murder Scott Vineer, contrary to common law” – a crime said to have occurred between September 6 and September 7, 2012.
There was no application for bail, and he was remanded in custody, with the next hearing to be on June 30.
The appearance was over in perhaps a minute or less, and afterwards Scott and his family filed quietly out of court.
The story leading up to the case began on September 6, 2012, when Scott went missing.
He had recently started the second year of a course backed by mental health charity Mencap, and had been at the South Eastern Regional College that day, before leaving with a friend and parting their company after 3pm.
Due to his disability, he was accustomed to a highly-structured routine, and his family grew concerned for his whereabouts.
A manhunt was launched with search dogs and 30 officers, and he was found unconscious on the night of Friday, September 7, having suffered serious head injuries.
Scott hails from Lisburn, and he was found near a disused showroom close to the River Lagan in the city.
There were numerous calls for anyone with information to come forward.
Mr Craig was charged on May 7, 2014.