Outstanding medical evidence causing delay in assault case

A judge has said that, if there isn’t a functioning criminal justice system, there will be ‘anarchy’.

District Judge Barney McElhholm made the comment as John Patrick Nixon appeared in court via videolink this week.

Derry Magistrate’’s Court heard there have been delays in the 30-year-old’s case because a medical report is outstanding.

Nixon, of Harty Court, is charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent on July 18, last year.

The defendant has been in custody for the last six months.

Defence solicitor Walter Hegarty said the outstanding medical evidence was preventing the Public Prosecution Service from making a decision in the case.

He added his client may actually spend more time in custody than the maximum sentence that could be imposed by the court if he is convicted.

The judge requested that the investigating officer in the case outline to the doctor or administrator in charge of forwarding the report ‘how important this is’.

He said if the evidence was not before the court on the next occasion, he would issue a witness summons for the hospital employee who was causing the delay.

The judge added ‘if there isn’t a functioning criminal justice sytem, there would be anarchy’.

‘The rest of the community has the right to expect a functioning criminal justice system and we all have our part to play’.

Nixon was remanded in custody to appear in court again on February 11.