Londonderry man ‘called police to threaten to kill ill father’

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A man allegedly armed with a knife phoned police to say he was going to end his ill father’s life, the High Court has heard.

Barry Porter was arrested after a specialist unit and negotiators were sent to the house in Londonderry, prosecutors said.

The 29-year-old, of Elaghmore Park in the city, is charged with possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit murder.

He faces a further count of making a threat to kill his 59-year-old father during the incident on June 14.

Porter was granted bail on condition that he stays away from the alleged victim.

Prosecution counsel Kate McKay told the court the defendant’s father is in poor health and classed as vulnerable having suffered an aneurysm.

She claimed Porter made a 999 call to say he was at home, armed with a knife and threatening to end the life of his father who was in bed at the time.

He allegedly told the operator he had been drinking and was also planning to harm himself.

Police sent to the house in the Galliagh area spotted him sitting in the living room with a large knife and beer cans strewn about, the court heard.

When Porter failed to engage with officers a specialist unit was called to the scene.

His father was escorted from the property as negotiations continued, according to Mrs McKay.

She said Porter eventually passed the knife out through a window before emerging himself.

Following hospital checks he was taken into custody where audio recordings of the emergency call were played to him.

“He said it was a moment of stupidity on his part after consuming a vast amount of alcohol over the past three or four days,” the prosecution lawyer added.

“He denied posing any real danger to his father.”

Porter had originally been granted Magistrates’ Court bail, but allegedly breached drinking and curfew conditions by turning up drunk in Belfast near midnight on July 10.

Mr Justice Horner agreed to release him from custody once more, stressing it was his “last chance”.

Imposing a ban on taking alcohol or any drugs, the judge also ordered: “You can have no contact whatsoever with your father in the meantime.”