Senior judge sees ‘no reason why non-jury trials cannot proceed’ in spite of pandemic



A senior judge has said there is no reason why non-jury trials cannot proceed in the Special Criminal Court when many other upcoming court cases have been placed in doubt over the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding in the three-judge court yesterday, was speaking about the upcoming trial of a man charged with the murder of Michael Barr in the Sunset House pub in Dublin’s north inner city on 25 April 2016.

The trial of UK national David Hunter, 41, is due to take place on 10 June 2020 and is expected to last four weeks.

Mr Barr, a father-of-five from Co Tyrone, was shot seven times while working in the inner city pub he managed.

Mr Justice Hunt said he was not a public health expert but said there was no reason why non-jury trials could not take place when most other court cases have been placed in doubt due to COVID-19.

The defence were given legal aid for an extra junior counsel for the trial yesterday on foot of “voluminous disclosure”.



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