Belfast Telegraph

Man's threat to kill case held in court car park

A judge moved his court to a car park yesterday to deal with a man accused of threatening to kill a female prison officer
A judge moved his court to a car park yesterday to deal with a man accused of threatening to kill a female prison officer

By Paul Higgins

A judge moved his court to a car park yesterday to deal with a man accused of threatening to kill a female prison officer.

Legal proceedings were conducted close to the back of a prison van outside Lisburn courthouse.

The Preliminary Enquiry against 41 year-old Roy Kerr was held in the open air, with the judge, prosecuting counsel and court clerk standing close to the door of the van cell.

Kerr told Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne: "I think this is an absolute farce... would it not be easier to get me a wheelchair and bring me into court?"

The car park court heard that Kerr had self-harmed in his cell in the van and had used a ligature on his way from Maghaberry prison to the court house. Judge Browne told Kerr: "That information satisfies me that it is justified not to bring you into court."

Kerr, originally from Inverness but whose address is given as c/o Maghaberry prison, faces a single count of threatening to kill a female prison officer on June 13 last year.

Choosing to represent himself, Kerr told the judge he had no objection to the PE, the legal process necessary to refer a case upwards to the Crown Court.

The prosecuting lawyer submitted that there was a prima facie case against Kerr.

Kerr exclaimed however that "there's no f****** eyewitnesses and no corroborating evidence".

When Kerr said he wished to give evidence to the PE, a Bible was hastily retrieved from the courthouse. After affirming to tell the truth, Kerr claimed: "This incident never took place; I do not know the officer. I have never met the officer. I don't even know what she looks like."

"I believe her motivation for writing this statement is to use it to obtain compensation and seek early medical retirement from the NI Prison Service," claimed Kerr.

Remanding Kerr back into custody, Judge Browne returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court, ordering Kerr to appear there for arraignment on 15 October.

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