Patterson to learn fate in one week

Patterson to learn fate in one week

Belfast councillor Ruth Patterson has failed in an attempt to have the charges against her struck out and will learn if the case against her is to proceed in one week's time.

The former deputy lord mayor of the city is charged with sending a grossly offensive electronic communication.

The charge relates to comments linked to another Facebook user's posting about an imaginary attack on a republican parade in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

The 57-year-old former nurse and DUP member was arrested and charged in August.

At previous hearings, the court has heard she intends to plead not guilty to the charges.

On Friday, Patterson's solicitor, Denis Moloney, applied to have the case thrown out.

He said the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) was to have stated its final position by this stage.

"This matter has been going on since August," Mr Moloney told District Judge Fiona Bagnall.

"It should have been dealt with by summons, not by charge.

"I would ask your worship to strike the matter out."

A PPS representative agreed that a decision was to have been made for Friday's hearing.

"The decision is almost finalised and my application would be for one week," he said.

"There's one further matter to be finalised before the decision can be taken."

Granting the PPS another seven days to conclude matters and rejecting the defence request, Judge Bagnall told Mr Moloney: "If there had been no prospect of a decision there might be some more strength in your application."


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