The murder trial of a Port Macquarie man has been pushed back until April 3, 2020 due to new measures introduced in the Supreme Court to combat COVID-19.
Benjamin John Black, of Oceanview Terrace, Port Macquarie, was expected to front court on March 23, 2020. Three weeks had been set aside for the trial.
Black has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter. However, the Crown did not accept the plea.
He is accused of murdering Jacob John King at Port Macquarie on May 4, 2018.
The incident allegedly occurred at a premises in the vicinity of Rushcutter Way and Beacon Court, Port Macquarie where the victim was stabbed and died as a result of his injuries.
The jury trial is now been fixed to commence on April 4, 2020.
In a statement, the Supreme Court continues to operate to the extent possible in the current challenging environment.
The court is responding to the developing COVID-19 pandemic by reviewing all operations to ensure all essential services are maintained and non-essential services continue for as long as practicable, consistent with health advice.
The court is equipped to utilise online court, audio visual equipment and digital technology to allow matters to continue remotely, it said in the statement
The court's paramount consideration remains the well-being of all court users. Everyone must adhere to health advice in relation to social distancing, self-isolation, hygiene and the management of symptoms.
Among the changes and in line with current health advice, there will be no personal appearances in any matters except for exceptional circumstances. This also applies to unrepresented litigants.
More court news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.
If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.