Northern Ireland

Father brandishes knife at PSNI responding to 999 call

A father brandished a knife at police responding to a 999 call made by his nine-year-old daughter who claimed he was trying to kill her mother.

Prosecutors told Belfast High Court that officers had to draw their guns when he emerged from the family home in County Antrim early last Sunday.

The 33-year-old accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his four children, faces several charges.

His application for bail was adjourned until a suitable address can be given.

The court heard that the father of four allegedly attacked his wife in front of his children and threatened to stab the first policeman through the door.

He is charged with possession of an offensive weapon with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his wife, criminal damage to her phone, threats to kill and resisting arrest.

Crown counsel Philip Henry said police were alerted by the accused's daughter in a 999 call made at around 0230 GMT on Sunday.

"She stated her father was trying to kill her mother and had a knife," he said.

As officers drove to the scene the accused's wife phoned to claim he had just tried to stab her and still had the weapon, the court heard.

When they arrived outside the house they allegedly spotted the man walking down the hallway towards them.

"They could see a bright 8-inch long object in his hand as he approached the door," Mr Henry said.

"Police shouted at him on several occasions 'Do you have a knife?' and 'What is in your hand?'

"He made no reply, but they could see him smiling and waving his empty hand."

Minutes later he stepped out with a kitchen knife in his other hand, forcing officers to draw their weapons, it was claimed.

Although the accused dropped the knife, he refused to step away and had to be struck and handcuffed, according to the prosecution.

His wife claimed he had grabbed her by the throat and banged her head against a wall in front of their children.

He then allegedly put the knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

"The accused also threatened if she called the police he would stab the first police officer who came through the door."

Declan Quinn, defending, claimed there was a pattern of his client taking drink and "shouting his mouth off".

The barrister said both the accused and his wife had been drinking when a row broke out.

His application for bail was adjourned until a suitable address could be provided.

The judge, Lord Justice Coghlin, said: "Whether his wife drinks is completely irrelevant so far as the children are concerned. They are the ones suffering here."