Stabbing accused apologies to victims in court

The trial took place at Laganside Courts in Belfast Credit: UTV

A man accused of a series of attacks on women in Belfast has made full admissions and offered apologies to the victims, a court heard today.Dermott McIlveen, 38, also expressed "extreme regret and remorse" for the spate of stabbings and assaults on Monday night, his lawyer said.Four women sustained knife wounds while two others were punched by a man on a bicycle in parts of central and south Belfast.Police said none of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries but were left deeply traumatised.Patrols were stepped up and CCTV images of the suspect released as part of a major operation to locate the attacker.McIlveen, of Carrigart Avenue in the west of the city, was subsequently arrested and charged with five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and possession of an offensive weapon - namely a knife.Appearing remotely at Belfast Magistrates' Court from a PSNI custody suite, he spoke only to confirm that he understood the allegations against him.Defence solicitor Brian Archer said McIlveen was not making an application for bail.The lawyer also disclosed: "Mr McIlveen has made full admissions to all offences during interview."He has expressed extreme regret and remorse, and offers apologies to the victims."Mr Archer added that he has made arrangements for his client to undergo a full mental health assessment.District Judge John Meehan remanded McIlveen in custody to appear again on 13 November.Deborah McAleese reports: