A defendant should pay for new legal team
Published 02/11/2011 | 08:00
Full marks to the PSNI, Public Prosecution Service, judges and juries in the recent murder cases of Jennifer Cardy and Maire Rankin.
However, surely a justice system (as in the Maire Rankin case) which allowed the accused, Karen Walsh, to change her legal team on no fewer than four occasions at the taxpayers' expense requires a review.
Karen Walsh deliberately and cynically manipulated the legal aid system in Northern Ireland, causing much delay and further pain and disruption to the victim's family - never mind incurring significant additional expense.
As a result, it has taken two years and 10 months to deliver justice in a case which appeared to be clear and obvious in the aftermath of such a gruesome murder.
Any review should conclude that the defendant may only change legal teams at their own expense.