An east Belfast man has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment following a “savage assault” on two men.

Mark McKechnie was sentenced today, Wednesday 19th June, at Downpatrick Crown Court for grievous bodily harm, common assault and false imprisonment.

The 28-year-old was convicted following an altercation at a house at Rogers Place on Wednesday 1st March 2023.

Detective Chief Inspector Brennan said: “This was a particularly savage assault. Officers arrived at the address to discover a man bleeding heavily, he had been punched several times to his face and hit on the leg with a hatchet.

“In this sinister assault, McKechnie also threatened his victim, telling him he was going to cut his man’s toes off.

“Another man at the address also had extensive facial injuries including a badly swollen eye socket, bleeding and heavy bruising to his face.

“This outcome was a result of good work by initial responders and follow-up detective work, as well as the resilience shown by the injured party throughout the criminal justice process.

“I hope this sentencing sends out a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of violent crime. We will work tirelessly to bring offenders before the courts so that that victims receive the justice they deserve.

“I would ask anyone is a victim of crime to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, or 999 in an emergency, or submit a report online here. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online here.