Barrister: delaying attempted murder trial would be a ‘national disgrace’

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The trial of a 79-year-old Suffolk man accused of attempted murder following a shooting a year ago has been listed next month after his barrister said it would be a “national disgrace” if he was kept waiting in custody for his trial until next year.

Kier Huxtable has been in custody since his arrest in October last year and his trial at Ipswich Crown Court should have got underway in April.

However, it couldn’t take place then because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions and a new trial date was identified for this month.

After learning on Thursday (October 8) that Huxtable’s trial will now not take place next week due to restrictions on the number of trials being heard at the court during the coronavirus pandemic, his barrister Steven Dyble said it would be “nothing short of a national disgrace” if his client’s custody time limits were extended for a third time until a proposed new trial date in January.

Currently only one trial can take place at a time at Ipswich Crown Court due to COVID restrictions and Mr Dyble criticised the government for not doing more in the last few months to get more trials up and running.

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He said no temporary Nightingale courts had been set up in this area and he questioned why alternative buildings such as the Suffolk County Council premises in Ipswich or the former Bury St Edmunds Crown Court couldn’t be used to accommodate .

Judge Emma Peters said she understood Mr Dyble’s concerns and after speaking to Ipswich Crown Court court officials she announced that an extra courtroom would be ready to accommodate Huxtable’s trial on November 9.

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On that basis she agreed to a request by prosecution counsel Christopher Kerr to extend Huxtable’s custody time limits until November 13.

Huxtable, of Stanford Road, Weeting, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border has denied attempting to murder David Wright on October 11 last year and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life on the same date.

Police were called just after 7.10pm on Friday, October 11 to reports of a shooting in Pond Lane, Brandon.

A man aged in his 40s had been shot in the upper arm, sustaining non-life-threatening injuries.

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