Judge's ill health delays trial

THE ill health of Lismore District Court Judge James Black has caused the trial of three Northern Rivers men accused of assault offences at Byron Bay to be held over until November 1.

Following submissions from the Crown and defence counsel for the three accused, Judge Neil McLauchlan yesterday told jurors Judge Black was not expected to return to the bench for another four weeks.

The jury foreman told the court the jurors would be able to resume their deliberations on November 1. The trial of Nicholas Sharp, Dean Phelps, and Lee Funnell, which was interrupted over a week ago because of Judge Black’s illness, is expected to resume on that date.

Sharp, 27, of Ocean Shores, is accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm to Pottsville man Dallas Arnold on March 7 last year. Phelps, 25, of Suffolk Park, and Funnell, 26, of Brunswick Heads, are accused of assaulting Nathan Spratt.

All three men are accused of threatening to use violence on security guard Campbell McFarlane and others that would cause them to fear for their safety.



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