Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

A defendant should pay for new legal team

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.

JUSTICE

Belfast

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