Prime Minister in the spotlight at Newtownards Magistrates Court in connection with the cases of four people charged with contravening a Covid regulation

Prime Minister in the spotlight at Newtownards Magistrates Court in connection with the cases of four people charged with contravening a Covid regulation

A DEFENCE lawyer told Newtownards Magistrates Court developments regarding Prime Minister Boris Johnson are being monitored to see if the outcome will have any relevance to the cases of a number of local people who are charged with breaching covid regulations.

The lawyer said there was a "public interest" in the matter and added: "There would be possible discrimination to prosecute these four defendants for these offences when there are other persons in this jurisdiction and the Prime Minister is not being prosecuted for the exact same offence".

District Judge Mark Hamill said the lawyer should be "on the ITN News" with such information regarding the Prime Minister as the lawyer "forgot that little word 'potentially'."

The defence lawyer agreed he had failed to mention the word "potentially" as regarding any non-prosecution of the Prime Minister.

Judge Hamill said he presumed the point mentioned by the lawyer was going to be "used all over the UK and you can take it that Newtownards Magistrates Court will be awaiting with interest" developments in such cases.

He added: "In other words Newtownards Magistrates Court is not going to be in the vanguard of this potential point."

The comments were made in connection with a number of people who are accused of contravening a Covid regulation on May 23 last year - William Adair (38), of Weavers Grange, Newtownards; Gareth Gill (50), of Stirling Avenue, Newtownards; Mark Sewell (43), of Glenmount Drive, Newtownabbey and Mark Anthony Clifton (37), of Berkley Square, Bangor.

The cases, Court News NI can report, have been adjourned to later this month.

At a previous court it was heard the cases were linked to an allegation that 20 people were at a property on May 23 last year.

In connection with the same case a man with an address in Conlig recently pleaded guilty to contravening a Covid regulation and was fined £60 along with a £15 'offender levy'.