Belfast man ‘threatened to cut ex-partner’s head off’

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A Belfast man allegedly brandished a meat cleaver and threatened to cut his ex-partner’s head off, the High Court has heard.

Brian Gribben is accused of arriving at her home late at night armed with the weapon.

The 38-year-old, of Leroy Street in the north of the city, faces seven charges connected to the incident on May 28.

They include having a meat cleaver with intent to commit an indictable offence, possession of an offensive weapon in public, disorderly behaviour, threatening to kill Carol Ann Brown, two assaults on police, and resisting arrest.

Gribben is alleged to have gone with the knife to the address in the nearby Silverstream Crescent area.

During his application for bail the judge insisted the proposed release address was too close to the scene of the incident.

Aftter hearing details of the case, Mr Justice Treacy said the alleged victim and her children must have been “terrified”.

The judge added: “There’s no explanation for going to somebody’s house at midnight armed with a meat cleaver and threatening to cut their head off.”

Defence counsel argued Gribben never threatened to use any weapon.

He added that the accused would also seek medical help for an accepted drink problem.

However, the judge stressed his priority was ensuring the protection of the woman and her children.

Adjourning the application until alternative accommodation is found, he added: “Given the background I’m afraid I cannot countenance releasing the applicant to that address.

“It’s just too close to his partner’s address and he has obviously no difficulty finding his way there in the middle of the night, (allegedly) with a meat cleaver.”