Pool table row led to Harryville stabbing, court told

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A stabbing incident in a bar in Ballymena in which a man and woman sustained injuries began after a row over a pool table, a court has heard.

Kurtis Mitchell (21), of Queen Street, was granted bail, when he appeared via videolink at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

Mitchell is accused of two counts of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm; possession of an offensive weapon - a knife - in a public place; possession of a class B drug, namely cannabis and Lyrica; and making a threat to kill.

A PSNI detective constable told the court that the charges arise from an incident at the Moat Bar in the early hours of Saturday, October 10.

Mitchell and another male are said to have gone to play a game of pool but found the pool tables were in use.

An argument took place during which Mitchell is alleged to have stabbed two of the people playing pool with a knife, described in court as being four or five inches long and double-bladed.

The male injured party was said to have sustained two stab wounds, while the female victim is alleged to have sustained one wound, which required four staples.

Mitchell was identified by two witnesses at the scene and was arrested a short time later, the court heard

District Judge Des Perry said it was fortunate that the injuries sustained were not more serious.

“This is very akin to the sort of knife crime one sees on the mainland.

“What on earth causes a young man with no previous convictions to behave like this?” the judge added.

Solicitor John McAtamney said Mitchell and the other person had bought a three-litre bottle of vodka which they had consumed prior to going to the bar where “a dispute broke out”.

Mr McAtamney said there were “conflicting” reports from witnesses, with some saying that Mitchell had used the knife and others not saying he had used the weapon.

Mitchell denies the offences and claims he was assaulted and knocked unconscious during the incident, Mr McAtamney added.

When asked by the judge about the charge of possession of Lyrica, Mr McAtamney said the substance is a painkiller which had not been prescribed for Mitchell.

The judge agreed to release Mitchell on his own bail of £500, with one similar surety, to reside at an address in Ahoghill and to appear again at Ballymena Magistrates Court on October 29.

He is also subject to a curfew between 10pm and 7am and is electronically tagged.

He was also ordered to have no contact with his co-accused or any witness in the case and is prohibited from entering Ballymena town centre and Harryville.

Warning Mitchell about the consequences of breaching his bail terms, the judge told him: “You have put yourself in a very parlous situation - you are facing two very serious charges.”