Man left NI after attack in which boiling water was poured over face

A man allegedly tortured with boiling water poured over his face has left Northern Ireland amid fears of being targeted again, the High Court heard today.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:18 pm
The High Court in Belfast

Prosecutors said he moved to England following the “vicious” attack in north Belfast earlier this year which left him so badly burnt that he needed skin grafts.

Kevin Murray, 41, of Stanhope Street in the city faces a charge of attempted murder over the assault on January 24.

The alleged victim, aged in his twenties, was discovered in the Carrick Hill area with the skin on his forehead, throat, neck and lips red and flaking off.

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His hands were blistered and burned, he was soaking wet, and a pair of socks were tied around his neck, the court was told.

At that time the man claimed he had boiling water thrown over him and was stamped on by several males.

He was taken to hospital, placed in a medically-induced coma and later underwent four bouts of surgery.

“One of them was for skin grafts,” Crown lawyer Siobhan McCrory disclosed.

At first the man used a written note to indicate Murray’s alleged involvement.

Based on a further full account, it was claimed that the defendant had been the main instigator in a “vicious and sustained attack” in his home.

The man described being punched and threatened with knives before his hands were bound and a kettle full of boiling water was poured over his face and neck.

Opposing Murray’s application for bail, Ms McCrory contended: “The victim is alleged to have been tortured.”

Police found evidence of blood on a mop and an attempted “clear-up” in the kitchen of Murray’s home, according to the barrister.

She said the victim has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and requires psychiatric treatment.

“The injured party is currently living in Liverpool, he left Northern Ireland out of fear of reprisals but wants to return,” Ms McCrory submitted.

Defence counsel Kelly Doherty told the court Murray suffers from serious mental health problems which deteriorated during the lockdown.

Those issues were compounded by being exposed to drugs while living with the complainant, she claimed.Ms Doherty added: “He became more and more vulnerable as the pandemic continued.”

Adjourning the bail application for three weeks, Mr Justice Rooney requested more information on any medical treatment available to the defendant.

The judge noted: “This is a particularly violent offence, it suggests to me the injured party has been tortured.”