Northern Ireland

Mark Blaney denied bail on sword murder bid charge

A man accused of trying to kill a police officer with a ceremonial sword during rioting in north Belfast must remain in custody, a judge has ruled.

Mark Blaney, 30, of Alliance Close in the city, was refused bail amid continuing tensions in the area where the alleged attack was carried out on 12 July.

He is charged with attempting to murder a police officer, possessing an offensive weapon, and riotous behaviour.

He denies intending to harm or kill.

Mr Blaney was arrested by police investigating serious violence surrounding a ban on an Orange Order parade walking along a stretch of road separating loyalist and nationalist communities.

Police came under sustained attack as they enforced the prohibition.

Photographs of the incident shown in court allegedly depict Mr Blaney wearing a sash and wielding the ceremonial sword.

A prosecution barrister opposed his bid to be released on bail due to the risk of re-offending.

The judge was told police believe tensions remain high in the area, with ongoing protests being staged at Twaddell Avenue.

Bail was refused due to the risk of any further offences being committed.