Man tells court of ‘screwdriver attack’

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A 29-year-old north Belfast man on Wednesday described how he collapsed and was taken to hospital after being stabbed five times with a screwdriver.

The father of two said he sustained the wounds after confronting a man who he caught in the back garden of his home in the Ballysillan area of the city in the early hours of November 17, 2013.

Currently standing trial at Belfast Crown Court is 22-year old Jordan Samuel Spence from Harmin Park in Newtownabbey, who is facing two charges linked to the stabbing.

Spence has been charged with wounding the other man with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, and also possessing a screwdriver with intent to commit an offence. He denies both charges against him.

As the Crown case against Spence was opened, the jury of eight men and four women heard the victim sustained the stab wounds after confronting Spence about being in his back garden at 3am. The injured party said that after seeing Spence and another man in his garden, he went back into his house, put on a jacket and left the house to catch up with the pair and ask what they were doing in his garden.

The man - who had been at home socialising and drinking with his partner and friends prior to the incident - said that when he caught up with Spence, he noticed a “sharp object” in his hand. After seeing this object, the injured party said he turned and began walking back towards the house, but that Spence chased him.

The jury heard the man claim that when he got to the garden, there was a “scuffle” between himself and Spence, that they both ended up on the ground and that during this confrontation, he was stabbed five times - twice in the chest and three times on his torso.

He said that at the time, he didn’t realise he had been stabbed, that the blows were like “getting a dig in the ribs” and that it was only when he saw the blood that he realised what had happened. He managed to make his way home, where he collapsed. He was then rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.

Belfast Crown Court heard that following this, there was a “violent incident” involving Spence and the injured man’s friend, and that during this second confrontation Spence sustained several injuries which required hospital treatment.

Spence was interviewed about the stabbing incident on November 21, 2013 and denied the injured man’s version of events. He claimed he had been out with a friend and had returned to the Ballysillan area in a taxi when he was approached by the injured man and his friend.

Spence also made the case that he was threatened with violence then attacked by two men armed with an iron bar and a knife, and that he made a grab for a knife that was dropped by one of the men before fleeing. He also denied stabbing the other man, telling police he didn’t know anything about it.

At hearing.