Northern Ireland

Police 'had to draw guns' Belfast court is told

Police had to draw their guns after they were allegedly attacked by a man armed with a hammer and a knife, a court in Belfast was told on Saturday.

The police ombudsman has been asked to investigate the arrest of Stephen Thompson, of Dunraven Park, Belfast.

He is charged with assaulting two officers, causing criminal damage to a police car and having a hammer and knife with intent to resist arrest.

Mr Thompson, who is 40 years old, denies the police version of events.

Objecting to bail, a police officer told the magistrates court that Thompson reacted violently when he was arrested for allegedly breaking his bail conditions.

He said that during a struggle Mr Thompson, who has a total of 182 previous criminal convictions including offences of serious assault and indecent assault, first used a lump hammer and then a knife.

Mr Thompson's solicitor said the ombudsman had become involved after officers produced a baton and a gun.

A judge remanded Mr Thompson in custody until Wednesday. She said this appeared to have been "an extremely violent and potentially serious reaction to police".

She said she would revisit the bail application following mental health care reports.