Preliminary hearing takes place in a Magistrates Court car park with accused sitting in a taxi

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On Tuesday, in what is believed to be a legal first, an entire Magistrates’ Court — including a district judge, court administration staff, prison officers and lawyers for the defence and prosecution — gathered around a taxi in a car park to conduct a preliminary hearing.

Sitting in the cab was Olga Hadassagh Charlton, who is accused of a £40,000 loan fraud and converting criminal property.

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the scene at Antrim Magistrates’ Court car park:


District Judge Alan White proceeded to commit Charlton for trial at Antrim Crown Court, before releasing her on bail of £300.

The court refused to disclose the reason for locating the hearing outside.