Belfast Telegraph

Defendant's no-show holds up trial in Derry

By Ashleigh McDonald

A judge has adjourned the trial of a Co Londonderry man after the defendant failed to show up to court.

James McLauglin (32) was due to appear in the dock of Belfast Crown Court for the second day of his trial.

However, when he failed to appear, Judge David McFarland called the jury in to court and told them they would not be required for the day.

Judge McFarland, the Belfast Recorder, told the jury not to speculate on McLaughlin's absence, and said further enquiries were being made.

The trial is not sitting today, so Judge McFarland told the 12 members of the jury to return to court again on Thursday.

McLaughlin's trial opened yesterday, where the jury were told he faces five charges, including arson with intent to endanger the lives of police officers who responded to a call at his Glenshane Road home in Feeney on September 8, 2012.

It is the Crown's case that when officers arrived, a bare-chested McLaughlin - who was brandishing a hurling stick - threw petrol towards police and over two police vehicles.

While one of police cars was set on fire, the second vehicle failed to ignite.

He has also been charged with two counts of making threats to kill.

The court heard that officers were so concerned about McLaughlin's actions that three of them drew their weapons.

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