Court hearing takes place in car park after accused self-harmed in prison van

Roy Kerr
Roy Kerr
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Legal proceedings against a man accused of threatening to kill a female prison officer were conducted in a court car park today.

The preliminary enquiry against 41-year-old Roy Kerr was held in the car park of Lisburn courthouse with the judge, prosecuting counsel and court clerk standing close to the door of the prison van.

Kerr told Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne: “I think this is an absolute farce....would it not be easier to get me a wheelchair and bring me into court.”

The car park court heard however that Kerr had self-harmed in his cell in the van and had used a ligature on his way from Maghaberry Prison to the courthouse, leading Judge Browne to tell Kerr “that information satisfies me that it is justified not to bring you into court.”

Kerr, originally from Inverness but whose address is given as c/o Maghaberry Prison, faces a single count of threatening to kill a female prison officer on 13 June last year.

Choosing to legally represent himself, Kerr told the judge he had no objection to the preliminary enquiry - the legal process necessary to refer a case upwards to the Crown Court.

The prosecuting lawyer submitted that given the statements, “I submit there’s a prima facie case” against Kerr.

Kerr exclaimed however: “There’s no f****** eye witnesses and no corroborating evidence.”

When Kerr said he wished to give evidence to the PE, a Bible was hastily retrieved from the courthouse and after affirming to tell the truth, Kerr claimed: “This incident never took place; I do not know the officer. I have never met the officer. I don’t even know what she looks like.

“I believe her motivation for writing this statement is to use it to obtain compensation and seek early medical retirement from the NI Prison Service,” Kerr declared.

Remanding Kerr back into custody, Judge Browne returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court, ordering Kerr to appear at the higher court for his arraignment on October 15.