Murder committal hearing could 'start from scratch'

THE committal hearing in a stabbing murder case could have to be repeated if the matter isn't progressed next month, a court has heard.

James Paul Alderton, 25, remains in custody over the alleged murder of Charlie Larter in Murwillumbah and the alleged assault of his son, Zack, and Joshua Mead.

 

 

James Paul Alderton is facing a committal hearing over the alleged murder of Charlie Larter in Murwillumbah in 2017.
James Paul Alderton Facebook

Mr Alderton remains in custody over the June 6, 2017 incident which involved an alleged broad daylight brawl in Knox Park, in the heart of the town.

The committal hearing earlier heard from witnesses who claimed the brawl travelled close to a children's playground as the large group crossed the park.

Mr Alderton's solicitor, Tracey Randall, told Lismore Local Court on Wednesday that there was a "real prospect" of the case "settling in the Local Court".

"We are part way through a contested committal hearing," she said.

"The matter was adjourned for negotiations to occur between the Crown and the representatives of the accused."

Ms Randall told the court her client had "various mental illnesses" and there were negotiation delays related to this.

"The Crown are in the process of getting their own expert opinion with respect of the mental health issues," she said.

"Unfortunately (the doctor) went to the jail but Mr Alderton had been taken for a family visit.

"If there's a real prospect of settlement in the Local Court that will take some time."

Magistrate David Heilpern said if the matter was not resolved by August 16, the committal hearing process would have to begin again as he would not be available to continue hearing the matter.

Ms Randall told the court if the committal process was repeated, the defence would rely on transcripts of previous hearings and would not recall witnesses.

The matter will return to court on August 16.