Man charged over Newcastle supermarket attack

A forensic officer at the scene of the attack in Newcastle on Tuesday night
A forensic officer at the scene of the attack in Newcastle on Tuesday night

A Newcastle man has been remanded into custody accused of attacking a man outside a supermarket in the town.

Standing in the dock of Downpatrick Magistrates’ Court sporting a severely blackened right eye and bruised temple, 53-year-old Brian Dougan remained handcuffed to a prison officer throughout the short hearing and nodded to confirm that he understood the three charges against him.

Dougan, from Ballaghbeg Park in the seaside town, is accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Adrian McAvoy with intent, making a threat to kill Philip Smith, and possessing a weapon, “namely a stick with nails,” with intent to inflict GBH, all alleged to have occurred on February 2.

Mr McAvoy was attacked near the Tesco store on the Castlewellan Road in Newcastle at 7.35pm on Tuesday.

The victim was taken for treatment for five stab wounds to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

In court a PSNI officer said he believed he could connect Dougan to the charges.

Defence solicitor Gareth Doran revealed that Dougan has “a number of mental health issues” which will be assessed when he gets to Maghaberry Prison.

Asking for the case to be adjourned for a week, he claimed that despite those difficulties, police were agreeable to Dougan being released on bail provided he had an address outside of the Newcastle area.

The officer added, however, that police would be seeking further bail conditions as well as a suitable address and Mr Doran said he would contact hostels in an effort to obtain such an address.

Remanding Dougan into custody to appear again next Thursday via video link, District Judge Peter King granted legal aid in the case.