‘Anarchy without justice’ says Judge

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The District Judge at Londonderry Magistrates Court, Barney McElholm, has said that there would be anarchy if there was no functioning criminal justice system.

He made the comment as John Patrick Nixon (30), of Harty Court, appeared in court via videolink.

The District Judge was told there had been delays in Nixon’s case because a medical report was outstanding.

Nixon faces a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to another with intent to do so on July 18, last year. He has been in custody for the last six months.

Solicitor Walter Hegarty, who appeared for Nixon, said the outstanding medical evidence was preventing the Public Prosecution Service from making a decision in the case.

He said his client faced the prospect of actually spending more time in custody than the maximum sentence that could be imposed by the court if he was convicted.

The District Judge requested that the investigating officer in the case outline to the doctor or administrator in charge of forwarding the report how important it is.

He said if the evidence was not before the court on the next occasion, he would issue a witness summons for the hospital employee who was causing the delay.

District Judge McElholm said “if there isn’t a functioning criminal justice system, there would be anarchy”.

“The rest of the community has the right to expect a functioning criminal justice system and we all have our part to play,” he said.

Nixon was remanded in custody to appear before the court again on Thursday, February 11.