Judge raises issue about defendants and their alleged victims travelling together on same bus to court during maintenance work

Guest Newsdesk

A district judge has raised the issue of defendants and their alleged victims travelling together on the same bus.

Judge Barney McElholm, who usually sits at Derry magistrates court, which is currently sitting in Omagh, raised the matter in relation to the case of a woman who was allegedly harassed by a man.

Derry magistrate cases have currently been moved to Omagh because of ongoing maintenance work at the courthouse.

Referring to the case, Judge McElholm said the woman involved had concerns about travelling on the same bus as the man.

Mr McElholm said such complainants should contact either Foyle Women's Aid or other services to see if they are able to organise transport for complainants in such cases.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Court Service told BBC News NI: "We acknowledge that some disruption is inevitable, however every effort has been made to minimise this, including carrying out the essential works over the summer recess period.

"We note the comments made by Judge McElholm in the context of a specific case and we will continue to work with partner organisations to mitigate the impact and provide support for victims and witnesses.

"The health and safety of court users is paramount and the patience and cooperation of all court users, the judiciary, legal professionals, staff and the public during this time is greatly appreciated".

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