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Louis Maguire appeals his conviction for killing wife's lover David 'Digger' Barnes





A man jailed for shooting dead his wife's former lover was denied a fair trial by having no legal representation for most of the proceedings, a court has heard.

Louis Maguire claims he was left "overwhelmed" at having to defend himself in a complex and lengthy case.

Maguire (49) is appealing his conviction for murdering David 'Digger' Barnes in north Belfast back in March 2003.

The 39-year-old victim was shot as he lay in bed beside his girlfriend.

A gunman smashed his way into Mr Barnes' Brookvale Avenue flat before firing a shot at him.

Maguire, formerly of Whinpark Road in Newtownards, Co Down, was said to have carried out the killing while on weekend leave from serving a prison sentence for robbery.

In 2006 he received a 24-year sentence after being convicted of the murder and a separate arson attack on the home of a relative of Mr Barnes.

But he is now seeking to overturn the guilty verdicts by claiming the trial process was unfair.

The Court of Appeal was told he was unrepresented for 54 of the 75 days the hearing lasted.

The appeal continues.

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