Attack victim ‘had a mangled face’

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 man sustained multiple fractures to his face which required surgery following a city centre attack, a jury was told yesterday.

James Arthur Jelley is accused of being one of two men who attacked a third man outside the Office shoe shop on Belfast’s High Street on the evening of April 17, 2014.

The 45-year-old, from Bloomfield Road in the east of the city, has denied a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the injured man.

Outlining the prosecution case to a jury at Belfast Crown Court, barrister Rosemary Walsh said the attack occurred after all parties involved had been drinking in a city centre pub at around 9.30pm.

The victim - who didn’t know the two men who later attacked him - said that one minute he remembered being attacked in the street, and the next thing he remembered was waking up in hospital.

A female witness in a car saw the victim with a blonde woman and said that a short time later two men walked up to the victim and squared up to him.

The witness said the victim raised his arms to his face in a defensive manner and then had his head banged off the window of a shop. She saw both attackers repeatedly punch him around the head and at one point he was on his hands and knees with blood dripping from his face.

She said he was kicked about the face by the pair and one of them stamped on his head. The attack was stopped when another unconnected man rushed to the scene, causing the two attackers to flee.

Another witness went to the victim’s aid, with Mrs Walsh telling the jury that at this stage he was “bleeding heavily” and had a “mangled face”. He lost consciousness when police arrived.

He suffered facial fractures and had to undergo surgery.

The two attackers - one of whom the Crown say was Jelley - left the scene but got on a Metro bus on Royal Avenue.

A passenger saw the two get on and sit close to him. He noticed blood around the toe area of one of the men’s white trainers as well as seeing blood on his hands. It’s the Crown’s case that this man was Jelley.

He was arrested the next day and a pair of white trainers that were drying on a radiator were seized.

He told officers it couldn’t have been him as he was subject to a 9pm curfew and declined to answer further questions.