A man allegedly used martial arts skills to strangle a father to d*ath in his flat in Co Antrim, a court has heard.
Arch Doak (24) claimed he performed the fatal wrestling-style hold on Ryan McNabb in self-defense after he hit him over the head with a vodka bottle during a drinking session.
Doak, of Burna Square in Rathcoole, Newtown Baby, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court last Friday charged with the m*rder of 31-year-old Mr McNab.
A judge was told that the two men had only met for the first time on the day of the alleged m*rder.
“Investigations indicate that Mr McNabb did not know the defendant prior to 5pm (on Friday),” said a Detective Sgt.
“Approximately two to three hours later he died in the defendant’s flat, having suffered a violent d*ath where the defendant strangled him using martial arts skills.”
As distraught relatives of the victim wept in the public gallery, the court heard Doak called ambulance control when he realized Mr McNab was not breathing.
“She said Ryan att*cked her with a glass (bottle), they were fighting and he choked her to d*ath. She said it was self-defense,” the detective revealed. .
Paramedics and police found Mr McNabb lying on the floor in the living room.
Emergency medical procedures were performed, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Doak was treated at a hospital for his injuries before being taken into custody.
During interviews she claimed that Mr McNab assaulted her after being invited to her home for a drink.
The two men ended up in a scuffle on the floor where the defendant wrestled the victim for disqualification.
According to Doak’s statement, he let go when Mr. McNabb stopped moving and raised the alarm when he realized the other man was not breathing.
The court heard police had recordings of the defendant saying “I choked him”, describing a violent scene and sounding “unsettled, panicked and out of control”. give
Opposing bail, the detective raised concerns he could pose a danger to the public.
“The defendant told police that he had been drinking for three days from Wednesday to Friday when he was arrested, and that he had not slept during that time.”
“He said he had taken c*caine at around 10am on Friday morning, he had also taken diazepam and had been consuming large amounts of cider and vodka throughout the day.”
Claims during the hearing suggested that Mr McNabb had planned to visit the home of Doke’s ex-girlfriend, may have been a catalyst for the alleged m*rder.
“The allegation was that he was going to do it to her,” she told the court.
Dowak’s lawyer, Stuart Ballantine, told the court he was at the scene and phoned the ambulance service to perform CPR on Mr McNab.
Stressing that his client had made a case for acting in self-defence in five police interviews, the lawyer said: “This man is completely devastated by what has happened.”
Mr Ballantyne submitted that the mood changed when the two men were drinking together in Doak’s flat.
“It appears that during the evening the injured party then stated that he was going to my client’s ex-girlfriend’s house (home), to break down her door and assault her,” he said.
“Suddenly, on the defendant’s case, the injured party stood up, picked up a vodka bottle and hit the defendant on the head.”
Mr Ballantine claimed Doak initially failed to repel the att*ck, but then made a maneuver to defend himself while on the floor.
“He had no intention of killing the gentleman in any way,” he insisted.
“Not only is this a life-changing event for the family of the injured party in court, it’s life-changing for the man as well.”
However, in denying bail, District Judge Ongh Malan cited the seriousness of the charge and the ongoing police investigation.
Duke was remanded in custody, due to appear in court again on November 21.
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