A Co Armagh man jailed for murdering his lover's husband could have his appeal delayed as he bids to appoint a new legal team, it has emerged.
Judges were told Roger Ferguson wants to instruct another firm of solicitors to represent him in his attempt to overturn a conviction for killing father-of-two Paul Crymble.
It was suggested that a “loss of confidence” in his current lawyers may be linked to a decision not to make an application to admit fresh evidence in the case.
Ferguson (33) was sentenced to at least 18 years in jail for his role in suffocating 35-year-old Mr Crymble to death in 2004.
Jacqueline Crymble, the victim's wife with whom he was having an affair, was also sentenced to life in prison for the murder.
Ferguson, from Tandragee, Armagh, had claimed to be at home in bed on the night Mr Crymble was killed.
The murdered man's wife claimed four masked men broke into the family home on Ballybrae Road near Richill, Armagh looking for drugs and money before attacking and kidnapping her husband.
But low copy number DNA techniques established that the chances a profile found on cable ties used to bind Mr Crymble belonged to anyone other than Ferguson were a billion to one.
Ferguson's appeal had planned to challenge the reliability of this evidence, which was critical to the guilty verdict.
In an attempt to cast doubt on it Professor Dan Krane, the Ohio-based expert whose evidence helped clear Sean Hoey of the Omagh bomb murders, was contacted during preparation for the case.
Ferguson and his ex-lover were due to contest the safety of their convictions at a hearing later this month.
However, the Court of Appeal heard yesterday that he has sent formal authority transferring instructions to a new firm of solicitors.