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Man convicted of pointing knife at his child’s grandmother must await sentencing

Court heard he had gestured with the kitchen knife and uttered words to the effect of 'mind your own f****** business'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who was convicted of pointing a knife at his child’s grandmother must wait until next month to learn his fate.

Court heard how the 31-year-old had gestured with the kitchen knife at the woman and uttered words to the effect of “mind your own f****** business”.

James Cox, of Mullacreevie Park, was convicted of failing to provide a specimen of breath, common assault, driving with excess alcohol in blood and possession of a bladed article in a public place at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry.

As the charges were contested, the first witness called to give evidence was the injured party with regards to the common assault.

Describing her relationship to the defendant, she explained that Cox was the father of her grandchild.

Outlining the events of May 7, of last year, the injured party stated that she had arrived at her home at Mullacreevie Park in Armagh after going on an errand with a friend.

As she entered her garden, the injured party observed a white van pulling up nearby at speed and a male, whom she knew to be the defendant, exited the vehicle.

The injured party described how Cox then walked towards her with a knife in his right hand by his side, with her suggesting he had been concealing it.

She stated that the defendant had gestured with the knife towards her and uttered words to the effect of “mind your own f****** business”.

After being prompted by the prosecution, the injured party described the blade as a long kitchen knife with a black or dark brown handle.

She outlined that she had screamed and shouted at bystanders to contact the police, adding that young children had witnessed the incident.

The injured party also stated that she had later then observed Cox perform a number of handbrake turns before heading in the direction of his mother’s home.

Cross-examining the witness, defence barrister Seamus Lannon asked her if she had been aware of an incident which had taken place 20 minutes prior to this.

The injured party stated: “I was aware but I was not sure what it was because I was not there.”

Mr Lannon stated that his client had instructed that he had been walking to the injured party’s daughter’s home earlier that same day and had been attacked by a male with a baseball bat.

He also put it to the injured party that she had provided a video to police of the alleged incident, commenting that she had gone out of her way to “generate evidence against James Cox”.

Mr Lannon asked her if she feared the defendant, and the injured party replied: “Before the incident I would have been around him but after that I have stayed away.”

Prosecution outlined how police arrested the defendant and that whilst en route to custody he “took a turn” which led to him being brought to Craigavon Area Hospital.

Whilst there, a sample of blood was taken for testing and this gave a reading of 177mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Bodyworn camera footage was also shown to the judge which showed police locating a knife in a white van parked outside Cox’s mother’s house.

Giving evidence himself, Cox commented that it was the owner of the white van in the footage shown to him that committed the offence.

Prosecution put it to the defendant that the knife was found as described by the injured party in the vehicle outside his mother’s home and he was arrested in similar clothing, namely a black T-shirt with a pink logo, as the male in the footage.

Mr Lannon did refute the quality and reliability of the video evidence, which was taken by bodyworn camera from a mobile.

He commented that the knife could not be clearly seen and that the incident as alleged was not visible due to a parked car obscuring the view.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated that the defendant had contested that it was not he who committed these offences, with his defence barrister indicating he was someone of previous “good character”.

He commented that he had found the injured party a “competent” witness and was “satisfied she told the truth”.

The deputy district judge pointed to the finding of the knife in the vehicle, the defendant’s clothing matching that of the male in footage and Cox’s inability to provide a sample of breath when requested to by police.

Believing that the matter warranted a presentence report, the case was adjourned until April 20 for sentencing.

 

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