Man denies threatening to ‘gut’ man he met earlier on Ballymena to Coleraine train

Ballymena Courthouse4
Ballymena Courthouse

A man accused of threatening to “gut” a man with a make-shift knife in Coleraine is denying offences linked to the alleged incident, a court heard on Thursday.

John Monroe (36), of Lever Park, Portstewart, is alleged to have lunged at the face of man he had earlier got chatting to on the Ballymena to Coleraine train.

It is claimed that once in Coleraine, the defendant invited the alleged victim to join him in a carpark but then ordered him onto the ground and threatened him with an “adapted knife” before the man was able to run off.

When arrested after the incident, on April Fool’s Day this year, Monroe allegedly told police he would “get that wee druggie b-stard” claiming the alleged victim had stolen heroin from him.

A police officer told the court the knife was a “piece of metal ground down to a sharp point to make it more dangerous – it would be best described as a shank”.

Monroe appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Maghaberry Prison, and it was heard he has 110 previous convictions including offences involving drugs and weapons.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said: “There is no dispute there was an exchange between them but he denies criminal offences”.

Monroe is charged with possessing a pointed knife in a public place; assault and possession of cannabis.

The defence lawyer said his client had been in custody since April 1.
District Judge Nigel Broderick noted the maximum sentence on the charges was six months.

He said that although there still remained a risk of further offences the defendant had already served the equivalent time.

The defendant was released on his own bail of £500 and conditions include a ban from entering Coleraine and he is not to travel through Coleraine Station on a train.

The case was adjourned until June 28.

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