Man accused of stabbing off-duty police officer appears in court

A man accused of stabbing an off-duty police officer 10 times while he was at home with his wife and two children has appeared in court.

Prosecutors claim John McCartney, 39, launched a “targeted” and “frenzied attack” when the alleged victim answered his door in Rayleigh, Essex, on Wednesday evening.

He appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with attempted murder and possession of a knife.

McCartney is believed to have known the Essex Police officer, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, from attending the same school.

The court heard the alleged victim was stabbed a total of 10 times, suffering six stab wounds to the centre of his chest, lacerations to his chest, arm and abdomen – exposing his bowel – a half-inch wound to the upper arm and wounds to the feet.

Essex Police said he was now in a stable condition in hospital.

Blonde-haired McCartney was clean-shaven when he appeared in the dock, wearing a prison-issue red tracksuit and glasses.

He spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, address, national insurance number and that he was British before the charges were read out by the legal adviser. He was not asked to enter pleas.

The court heard McCartney had been living in China until he returned to the UK three weeks ago.

There was no application for bail and chairman of the bench Ian Currie remanded McCartney, of Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, in custody until he next appears before Basildon Crown Court on May 24 for a plea hearing.

Following the incident, Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “Our focus has been his welfare and the welfare of his family, as well as the ongoing live investigation, and that will continue.

“Our officer is in a stable condition in hospital and we are hopeful will make a full recovery.”

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