Nova Scotia

Attempted murder charge in C.B. attack

A Port Hawkesbury man faces a charge of attempted murder after a violent domestic dispute that was described as "off the charts" by one RCMP officer.

A Port Hawkesbury man faces a charge of attempted murder after a violent domestic dispute that was described as "off the charts" by one RCMP officer.

Officers were called to the home of Michael O'Neill late Tuesday night after a report of a domestic disturbance, but no one was there.

RCMP later found O'Neill and a woman in the hospital. She was rushed to a Halifax hospital for treatment for severe, but non-life-threatening injuries.

"This is off the charts, let's put it that way," said Staff Sgt. Craig Seafort. "Domestic assaults — we have a few — not as serious as this."

O'Neill, 50, appeared in Antigonish provincial court on Thursday with cuts to his forehead, cheek, throat and arms. He has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful confinement.

Michelle MacDonald, the Crown prosecutor, said her office was still waiting on information on the case.

"We're still getting disclosure and still reviewing that. It's still very early stages," she said Thursday.

Gerald MacDonald, O'Neill's lawyer, told the judge that his client had suicidal tendencies and is on strong pain medication. The judge agreed to send O'Neill to the East Coast Forensic Hospital for a 30-day psychiatric assessment.

"He's feeling out of sorts, considerably. It's a very bad situation for him," Gerald MacDonald said of his client.

"There was a confrontation between him and a lady and she took the worst of it but he's had some injuries himself as well."

O'Neill will return to court May 5 in Port Hawkesbury.

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