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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Victim of attack 'feigned death'
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A Ballymena man pretended to be dead to survive a sectarian attack during which he was strangled, stabbed and beaten, Belfast Crown Court has heard.

Aaron White, 35, of no fixed abode, is accused of attempting to murder Michael Liam Reid in October 2003.

He is one of three men alleged to have carried out the attack in a house in Patrick Place in Ballymena.

A prosecuting QC said Mr Reid escaped when left with one attacker, while the others went for a saw to "cut him up".

He said that during the attack, Mr Reid came to the conclusion he was going to die and decided his only chance of survival was to feign his death.

The QC said the motive of the attack was vicious sectarianism.

He added that police later discovered Aaron White's glasses and mobile phone in the house.

In September 2005, Mr White's 30-year-old brother Neil White from Wakehurst Road, Ballymena, was jailed for 16 years after admitting the attempted murder charge.

Mr Reid, who is a Catholic, told the court the attack on him started after the two Whites and a third man came into the house of a friend he was in and asked him who he was and where in Ballymena he was from.

'Battered'

He said after telling them the truth, he was battered with a "heavy object", while attempts were made to strangle him before he was stabbed in the neck and shoulder with a kitchen knife.

Mr Reid said he intially tried to struggle but felt himself going dizzy and losing strength. He then let his body go limp and played dead.

He said he was left alone with Neil White while the other two looked for a saw.

He was able get away after a struggle and ran into the street, he said.

Under cross-examination from a defence QC, Mr Reid rejected suggestions that he was "disorientated" and did not know what was really going on.

The trial continues.




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