American newlywed’s alleged triple murder bid ‘was self defence’

Nicholas Keith Warner and wife Kaylee pictured at Ballymena court
Nicholas Keith Warner and wife Kaylee pictured at Ballymena court

An American accused of trying to kill three people he allegedly attacked with a knife had his bail varied to let him return to the USA.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday, district judge Nigel Broderick ordered Nicholas Keith Warner, 31, could go back home to Morrow Lane in Summerville, South Carolina, on condition he lodge a £4,000 cash surety and surrender his passport to US police within three days.

The judge heard claims Warner, who was on his honeymoon, acted in self defence after he was attacked with revelations that the three men the American is accused of trying kill have themselves been questioned about offences.

Warner married his wife, Kaylee (pictured here with him), a nurse also from South Carolina, in October.

Electrical engineer Warner, who appeared on crutches having broken his leg in the incident, is on bail accused of attempting to murder three men on August 11 in Ballycarry, a village between Carrickfergus and Larne. He is also accused of having a knife in a public place, affray, and causing a fourth man ABH.

The charges arose after three men, two in their 30s and one in his 60s, sustained stab injuries outside a bar.

Warner, who arrived in Dublin with his wife a week before the incident, denies attempting to murder the men and assaulting his fourth alleged victim. The court also heard that while Warner also denies causing an affray, he admits that he did have a knife.

The court heard there was an incident inside the bar, with Warner and his wife leaving by the front while the three complainants left by the rear.

The court was told CCTV footage showed Warner going to ground and one male circling him while kicking at his head. The footage also shows, the court heard, Warner stumbling away pursued by a group of men, and a detective confirmed the defendant’s own phone had been used to contact emergency services.

At the scene, Warner “co-operates and makes a self defence case,” the judge was told.

Despite police objections Warner would not come back, “he wants to clear his name,” submitted his defence solicitor David Jones, “because he has a workable defence that he was acting in self defence of himself and his wife.”

The case will be mentioned again on October 4.