Court hears man allegedly stabbed wife on New Year’s Eve and said: ‘We are going to die together’

A man allegedly stabbed his wife of 32 years with a ‘steak knife’ on New Year’s Eve and then turned the blade on himself saying ‘We are going to die together’, a court heard.

Ian Ireland (60), whose address was given as Coleraine Road in Portstewart, was originally charged with attempted murder relating to December 31, 2018.

He appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison.

A prosecutor said a decision had been taken that the matter would proceed to the Crown Court as a ‘Section 18’ charge – grievous bodily harm.

A police officer objected to bail saying the defendant wished to reside in Banbridge where the injured party lives and there were concerns about further offending.

The officer said police attended an address in Portstewart on New Year’s Eve and a female could be heard shouting for someone to help her.

The officer said Ireland said he had stabbed his wife on the shoulder and then stabbed himself in the abdomen.

When cautioned at the scene the defendant had replied: “Jail”.

The court heard that after being out for New Year’s Eve Ireland had left the house saying he was going to kill himself but returned and after stabbing his wife he began stabbing himself in the abdomen saying: “I’m going to end this, we are going to die together”.

Defence solicitor Richard Monteith said the injury to the defendant’s wife measured 10 millimetres.

He said the couple were married for 32 years with no previous incidents and on New Year’s Eve they had been out for a meal and both had too much to drink.

After returning to the property, the lawyer said, Mrs Ireland went to bed where she was speaking on the phone to a friend and the defendant asked her if she was going to join him to “bring in the New Year” but she refused as she was still in conversation on the phone.

The court heard the defendant said he was going to kill himself and left and walked into the sea up to his knees but realising how cold it was he returned to the property.

Mr Monteith claimed a remark was made that the defendant had not done what he said he was going to do and the defendant lifted a steak knife and stabbed his wife in the shoulder blade.

The court heard the injured party had blood on her lungs and was in hospital for a number of days.

District Judge Mark McGarrity said he was not content to bail the defendant to an address in the same town as the injured party.

The bail application was adjourned until next week and in the mean time the defendant was further remanded in custody.

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