Man on city murder charge remanded in jail

MOHSON BHATTI
MOHSON BHATTI

A Somalian man accused of carrying out a killing on a south Belfast street is to remain on remand in prison, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Ahmed Noor was released from secure medical accommodation on Wednesday to be charged with the murder of Mohsin Bhatti.

The 29-year-old victim was repeatedly stabbed in an attack in the Botanic Avenue area of the city on January 29. Two knives were recovered nearby.

Mr Bhatti had only moved to Northern Ireland just over a year ago.

Noor, a sales assistant with an address at Agincourt Avenue in Belfast, was originally detained under the Mental Health Order.

But after being charged he was brought before the city’s magistrates court on Wednesday to have the allegations put to him.

He was then held overnight in an observation cell at Maghaberry Prison while a psychiatrist’s report was prepared.

At a further hearing on Thursday it was confirmed that his mental health assessment has been completed.

According to expert medical opinion his state improved within 36 hours of being admitted to the Knockbracken healthcare facilities.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told he was classed as fit to be charged and could continue to be assessed by staff at Maghaberry.

Defence lawyer Hamill Clawson raised concerns based on other medical opinion.

However, he applied to have his client kept within the same area of the prison.

Mr Clawson added: “It needs to be put on the record that he was charged only, and has not been interviewed in relation to these matters.”

Judge Bagnall ordered that Noor, who was not produced for the court hearing, should remain at Maghaberry under the care of its medical staff.

She added: “Should there be any deterioration I would expect they will take whatever steps they consider appropriate to ensure his well-being.”

Noor was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on March 5.