A south Armagh man who allegedly tried to cut off a man’s head was today ordered to stand trial accused of attempted murder.
Standing in the dock of Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 29-year-old Jamie Gollogly confirmed he was aware of the five charges against him and that he did not object to his case being returned to the Crown Court.
Gollogly, from Rockview Crescent in Belleeks, faces two charges of attempted murder and single offences of aggravated burglary, criminal damage and possessing a weapon, namely a hatchet, all alleged to have been committed June 1, last year.
Although the facts of the case were not opened today, when Gollogly was initially charged the court heard how two men were attacked with hatchets in an “extremely violent” incident linked to a “tit for tat….ongoing feud.”
The court also heard that according to treating medics, the assailants had tried to decapitate one of the victims who was left with a fractured skull and a 12 centimetre laceration to the back of his neck.
According to the police case, the victims were asleep in a mobile home on the Moorhill Road in Newry when two masked and hooded men armed with hatchets smashed their way in and attacked them.
A brother of one of the victims told police he heard a disturbance outside his house and when he went to investigate, he saw the two men leaving and running to a waiting car which sped off with the “wheels spinning”.
Detective Constable Glenn said that a short time later, a car was found on fire two miles away, adding that Gollogly was arrested at his home after both victims named him as one of the attackers.
When police arrived at the address, “officers noted a strong smell of bleach,” there were “remnants of a fire” smouldering in the grate and they also spotted a “small spot of blood” which has been sent for forensic analysis.
The officer said the victim who suffered the attempted decapitation had also sustained a fractured skull, a punctured lung and “significant damage to the bones in his left hand”.
The other victim had sustained what he said were “life changing injuries” including a fractured skull, two punctured lungs as well as “severe lacerations…caused by a bladed instrument”.
“This was a deliberate, targeted and violent attack on the victims resulting in extreme injuries that are life threatening,” said the officer, “essentially we believe it’s linked to an ongoing feud between gangs in Newry.”
The detective said police believed the hatchet attack was linked to an incident the preceding month when an associate of Gollogly had acid thrown over him and also to a shooting in Newry in January.
In court today, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a Prima Facie case to answer and that was conceded by Gallogly’s defence solicitor while the defendant himself declined to comment on the charges or to call evidence on his own behalf.
Freeing Gollogly on continuing bail, District Judge Eamon King returned the case to Newry Crown Court for trial and scheduled the arraignment on November 9.