Judge halts Joey Barton trial
Joey Barton has gone on trial this week at Sheffield Crown Court, the former Newcastle United midfielder appearing in court in relation to an incident that happened in April 2019.
Barton having previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The then Fleetwood Town boss alleged to have pushed the then Barnsley manager, Daniel Stendel, in the tunnel after the game, causing damage to a tooth.
Whilst the wheels of justice do tend to turn very slowly, the 26 months wait for this case to be heard will have been severely impacted by the virus situation.
Football management moves tend to happen a lot quicker, with Stendel sacked by both Barnsley and Hearts since the incident happened, out of management since June 2020. Whilst Joey Barton has been sacked by Fleetwood in the meantime and is now at Bristol Rovers.
However, after having helped to delay the trial until 26 months after the alleged incident, the Covid situation has struck again.
Stendel was appearing via video link from Germany because he is unable to travel over from Germany due to Covid restrictions.
The judge today stopping the trial due to technical difficulties, as well as issues with the translation of Stendel’s evidence and his understanding of what was happening during the trial hearing..
A hearing will now take place tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to see when a new trial can be arranged for.
After bringing proceedings to a halt, the Judge, Jeremy Richardson QC, stating:
“Mr Stendel would have been at court with the use of an interpreter but because of the pandemic and the limits of travel, it was decided he would give evidence from a court in Germany.
“Electronic communication we have now all found out over the last 12 to 18 months has been a mixed blessing.
“The problem has been that with Mr Stendel’s evidence, he has a provincial accent that is difficult to understand.
“He was in a courtroom in Germany rather than a small room, as he might be here, and thus there is an echo. We are in a large courtroom because we need to be.
“The interpreter in your absence and the judge in the German court agreed, there have been some examples of missed understanding and mistranslation. Well, that is just not fair to the witness, Mr Barton or to you.
“As the case unfolded this morning with his [Stendel’s] evidence, I became increasingly concerned that things were getting lost in translation. He is a critical witness in this case and it is not fair to you, to Mr Barton or to him as a witness and so I put a stop to it.”
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