Belfast Telegraph

Court urged to issue trust chief summons over delayed reports

The case is due to be reviewed next month (stock photo)
The case is due to be reviewed next month (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

The chief executive of a health trust may be summonsed to court to explain why medical reports required in a criminal case have not been provided months after the incident occurred.

The case relates to a woman charged with deliberately torching her home, injuring two family members - one seriously.

Gillian McCutcheon (62), from Millburn Avenue, Cookstown, is accused of damaging the property by fire on April 11 with intent to endanger the lives of the occupants.

It is further alleged she unlawfully and maliciously inflicted grievous bodily harm on a male and causing actual boldly harm to a second.

The alleged victims are the accused's husband and son.

Dungannon Magistrates Court previously heard the smoke alarm alerted one of the occupants to the blaze and NI Fire & Rescue Service attended shortly before 7.30am.

McCutcheon and her husband were rescued from the kitchen area by fire officers and the couple's 30-year-old son was found upstairs and brought to safety.

The husband sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. The son was transferred to hospital by ambulance.

Having examined the scene, police said the fire appeared to have had been started deliberately inside the property.

McCutcheon was not badly injured and was arrested a few days after the incident. She has remained in custody ever since.

At several review hearings since, repeated difficulties were expressed in obtaining medical reports on the victims, which is hampering the Public Prosecution Service from directing on how the case will proceed.

At the most recent hearing, the court was told police have repeatedly sought reports from the respective hospitals, specifically identifying Daisy Hill in Newry, where the son was treated.

A prosecuting lawyer said: "Police are chasing these reports and it is regrettable they are not yet received."

A defence solicitor said the chief executive of the relevant Heath and Social Care Trust should be summonsed to court, to explain why the reports are not being released. He said this had been done in an unrelated matter and the medical reports "quickly became available".

The case is due to be reviewed next month.

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