Belfast woman accused of attacking neighbour with a hammer, court told

A 55-year-old woman allegedly attacked her neighbour with a hammer as part of an ongoing dispute in north Belfast, a court heard on Tuesday.

Anne Marie McGuinness is accused of inflicting blows to the man’s head and declaring that she would kill him.

She claims to have acted in self-defence during their encounter at the weekend, a judge was told.

McGuinness, of Jamaica Street in the city, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court to face charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possessing an offensive weapon with intent, and making a threat to kill.

Police said she allegedly launched the hammer attack at her neighbour’s front door in the early hours of February 27.

According to the man’s account he opened his door and was struck twice to the head and once on the hand.

Another neighbour claims they witnessed McGuinness carry out the assault after shouting: “You shouldn’t be here, you have me tortured, I will kill you.”

Asked about any potential motive, a PSNI officer replied: “It looks like a neighbourhood dispute.”

He added: “(McGuinness) was interviewed, admitted striking the injured party but claimed she struck him with a brush shaft because he struck her first, and alleged self-defence.”

Defence solicitor Emmanuel Morgan said his client had required hospital treatment for a head wound.

He told the court McGuinness has a “complex background” involving ongoing health issues.

Granting her application for bail, District Judge Mark McGarrity pointed out: “This is a serious matter, but the defendant doesn’t have any criminal record.”

He ordered her to live at an approved address, with conditions including a ban on contacting the alleged victim or entering Jamaica Street.

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