Man armed with a knife had ‘a moment of stupidity’


A man from Londonderry, who was allegedly armed with a knife and telephoned police to say he was going to end his ill father’s life, has been given one last chance by High Court judge Mr Justice Horner.

The High Court was told that Barry Porter (29), with an address at Elaghmore Park in the Cityside, was arrested after a specialist unit and negotiators were sent to a house in Londonderry, prosecutors said.

Porter appeared before the High Court charged with possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit murder, as well as a charge of making a threat to kill his 59-year-old father.

The offences were alleged to have occurred during the incident which arose on June 14.

Porter had been granted bail on the condition he stayed away from the alleged victim.

Counsel for the prosecution, Mrs Kate McKay, told the court the defendant’s father was in poor health and was classed as vulnerable, having suffered an aneurysm.

She told the High Court that Porter had made a ‘999’ emergency call to say he was at home, and that he was armed with a knife and that he threatening to end the life of his father who was in bed at the time.

She said Porter allegedly told the switchboard operator that he had been drinking and that he was also planning to harm himself.

Mrs McKay said police officers were tasked to the house in the Galliagh area and when they arrived they spotted him sitting in the living room. He had a large knife in his possession and they could see beer cans strewn about.

Mrs McKay said when Porter failed to engage with the police officers a decision was made to send a specialist unit to the scene.

At this stage Porter’s father was escorted from the property and, as negotiations continued, Mrs McKay said Porter eventually passed the knife out through a window before emerging himself.

The High Court was told that Porter was taken to hospital where he was examined by medical staff.

Following hospital checks he was then taken into custody, where police played audio recordings of the emergency call he made to him.

“He said it was a moment of stupidity on his part after consuming a vast amount of alcohol over the past three or four days,” Mrs McKay told Mr Justice Horner.

“He denied posing any real danger to his father,” she added.

The High Court also heard that Porter, had originally been granted Magistrate’s Court bail. However, he had allegedly breached the drinking and curfew conditions when he turned up drunk in Belfast at about midnight on July 10.

Considering the evidence, Mr Justice Horner agreed to release Porter from custody once more, stressing it was his last chance.