Man found in field had been 'effectively tortured' - Judge

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

A court has been told that a man found seriously injured in a field outside Broughshane had been slashed and stabbed over a drugs dispute.

Two men appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with attempted murder and kidnap in connection with the incident.

They are David Philip Cherry (39), of Waveney Park, Belfast and Sean Davies (38), of Queen’s Park, Saintfield. They are also both charged with arson of the alleged victim’s car on October 11.

Cherry is further accused of possessing Diazepam on November 3 this year and Davies is charged with possessing cocaine on November 3.

The previous week David Coleman (36), of Fountain Place in Ballymena, and Mark Bradshaw (51), of High Street in Ballymena, appeared at the same court charged over the same incident.

A police officer, objecting to bail said the victim had been spotted lying in a field by a bin men.He was only wearing Boxer shorts and shoes.

She said the man was severely injured and had a stab wound in his chest close to his heart and other injuries included a skull fracture and a detached jaw.

He was in intensive care for a number of weeks.

His was found burned out at a lane on a rural part of the Doury Road near Ballymena.

Following enquiries police made arrests on November 3 and during searches phone handsets were seized.

The court heard following a “lengthy recovery” the victim made a statement to police on November 19 saying he was invited to Coleman’s property at Fountain Place in Ballymena to “pack cocaine” due to him having an “outstanding debt” to Coleman.

The victim alleged Cherry went through the victim’s phone and it was alleged the victim had been “taking customers” from Coleman.

The victim claimed Coleman produced a knife which was heated on a gas hob before stabbing him in the chest and putting it in his mouth and slashing him. The victim also alleged he was forced to strip and clean up his own blood at Coleman’s address.

The victim then alleged he was put in the boot of a car and had been threatened with a knife and a hatchet and had lost consciousness.

The police officer said when the victim was dumped those responsible believed he was either dead or close to death.

Defence lawyers said both accused before the court denied involvement.

District Judge Nigel Broderick refused bail saying they were a “harrowing” set of facts and after being stabbed and “effectively tortured” the defendant was “dumped” in a field semi-naked in the early hours of the morning. He said it was “very fortunate” that due to the height of a bin lorry that the victim was spotted in a field and got treatment.

The cases were adjourned to December 30.

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