Murder accused’s legal hitch

A PORTSTEWART man accused of murder may have to defend himself in court after his solicitor took himself off the case in dispute over legal aid payments.

Francis Paul McCormick (32), of Cappaghmore Manor in the resort, appeared at North Antrim Magistrates’ Court last week to reveal he had been unable to find a suitable replacement for his previous lawyer.

In response, a District Judge warned the defendant he may have to become his own defence team when he returns for trial on September 1.

McCormick is charged with the murder of Trevor Spiers, assault and causing an affray on December 13, 2009.