Killing case adjourned over legal aid dispute
The Crown Court case of a Co Down woman accused of unlawfully killing her elderly neighbour following an alleged arson attack has been adjourned because of an ongoing legal aid fees dispute.
Karen Hasson (58), of Thorndale Park, Carryduff, appeared yesterday at Downpatrick Crown Court to be formally arraigned on three charges.
These include a charge over the manslaughter of 91-year-old Samuel Carson on September 2, 2015.
Mrs Hasson is also accused of using arson to destroy property belonging to Brian Hasson with intent to endanger his life.
A defence solicitor told Judge Piers Grant that he was seeking an adjournment application as he had been "unable to instruct counsel" due to the ongoing row between the Bar Council of Northern Ireland and the Legal Services Commission over cuts to legal aid fees to barristers' criminal cases.
Judge Grant agreed to adjourn the arraignment hearing until next month after a judicial review is heard at the High Court in Belfast over the dispute. Mrs Hasson was released on continuing bail.