THE case of a Coleraine solicitor, who is charged with failing to bring his tenant’s home up to a fit living standard, has been adjourned again at North Antrim Magistrates’ Court.
The charge against Fergus McIntosh, whose address was given as c/o 5 Upper Abbey Street in Coleraine, is being brought by Coleraine Borough Council.
The charge alleges that McIntosh failed to carry out repairs to a property at 800 Seacoast Road, Downhill, under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006. The charge also states that a Notice of Unfitness was served on McIntosh on February 22 this year.
Prosecuting on behalf of Coleraine Borough Council on Friday, solicitor John Lindsay said that he hoped to have an indication of the defendant’s plea that day.
However, representing himself in court, McIntosh said that he would be applying for an adjournment as the papers still had not been served on him.
Mr Lindsay replied that the case had been listed on last month’s court list.
However, the defendant said that while the case may have been listed last month, he still had not been served papers.
Deputy District Judge Peter King confirmed that records showed that the papers had been served by leaving them with a person over the age of 16 years at the defendant’s usual business address on July 29th this year.
Again, McIntosh denied receiving the papers.
Judge King asked if he had checked with this secretary?
“I open all my post,” replied McIntosh.
At this point, the court rose and Judge King spoke to both Mr McIntosh and Mr Lindsay in his chambers.
After a short while, the court resumed and Judge King said that he was not in a position to deal with the matter either on Wednesday or any other day and excused himself from dealing with the case at all.
He then adjourned the case on his own motion until October 7th to allow the papers to be served that day.