Northern Ireland

Ballynahinch woman accused of 33 stab wounds murder attempt

Windmill Gardens in Ballynahinch Image copyright Google
Image caption The man was injured at a house in Ballynahinch's Windmill Gardens

A man was found in a house in County Down after being stabbed 33 times with a machete-type weapon, a court has heard.

Sara Jane Nelson, 22, of Windmill Gardens is charged with attempted murder and assault following the attack in Ballynahinch on Sunday.

Stephen Brander suffered stab wounds to the back of the head, hand, buttock, leg, lip and anus.

He is currently being treated at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

Newtownards Magistrates' Court heard when police arrived, Ms Nelson was lying on top of the victim pressing a towel to his wounds.

Men called at house

A police officer told the court the defendant said Mr Brander had arrived at the house with two men she did not know.

She said the two men demanded money and then attacked Mr Brander at the front door. She said she pulled him into the house to protect him.

However, police say they believe the attack happened inside the house.

The investigating officer said blood was found in a number of rooms.

Items were found in the washing machine that contained blood and a sword was found in a sheath, the court heard.

In making a bail application, a defence solicitor said: "Police say they don't know if this 22-year-old girl used a samurai sword on this man 33 times.

"There were three men in the house with extensive records. Some of them have been in hospital since, because they took so many drugs."

Found unresponsive

The police officer confirmed that one man was found unresponsive in the living room, due, it is believed to consumption of drugs and alcohol.

Denying bail to Ms Nelson, the district judge said: "This bail application is entirely premature. This is an evolving investigation.

"There was reference made to ongoing interviews, reference to washing machines. This is evolving, confusing.

"Get all the people together and make some sense of this, then make a bail application."

Ms Nelson is scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday via video link.

Police have confirmed that a 26-year-old man has been released on police bail pending further enquiries and two other men, aged 40 and 20, remain in police custody.

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