Co Antrim man jailed after crossbow attack on house with woman and two children inside

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Court report
​A Co Antrim man who attacked a house with a hatchet and a crossbow in a ‘frightening’ incident for a woman and two children inside has been jailed for five months.

Martin Valliday (25), of Angus Street in Antrim town was arrested following the attack on a property in Antrim on December 12 last year.

He was sentenced for possessing a crossbow as an offensive weapon; a hatchet; causing criminal damage to a window of a property and possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

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He was also charged with attempting to cause criminal damage to a police cell van.

An earlier court heard police received a report that a living room window had been broken at a property and police found a crossbow bolt lying on grass.

Camera footage showed a male aiming a crossbow and a window was then hit with a hatchet. Blood was found on the window.

After going to the scene, police had then gone to an another address in Antrim town and saw Valliday throw items into an alleyway including items which matched those used in the house attack.

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Around 200 grammes of cannabis in 15 'deal bags' along with scales and a 'deal list' were also found.

When arrested, police noticed Valliday had an injury to his right hand and officers suspected that was from breaking the window.

The earlier court heard that during an interview, the defendant said he kicked the window of a police vehicle "in payback for George Floyd". The defendant told police cannabis was for personal use.

The defendant appeared via video link from prison on Tuesday for sentencing at Antrim Magistrates' Court, sitting in Ballymena.

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A prosecutor said a woman and her two children were in the property attacked by Valliday.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had committed the offences when he was in the "throes of addiction" and Valliday accepted he had been "out of control".

The house attacked was the home of a woman who had been in a relationship with his brother and Valliday decided "in the midst of this drug difficulty to attack the house" but "there was never an intention to attack the person".

The lawyer added: "That doesn't get away from the fact that it was a very frightening episode for this young lady and her children".

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Jailing the defendant for five months and putting a three year Restraining Order in place, District Judge Nigel Broderick said: "This would have been a terrifying incident for the complainant and her children in her home. This occurred at ten minutes to midnight".

He told Valliday: "You are attacking her with a crossbow and a bolt and a hatchet and goodness knows what was going through her mind as you were trying to break this window".