Published: 17:00, 02 April 2014
A murder trial had to be halted today after several leaks appeared in the ceiling of the courtroom.
Buckets were hastily placed around court seven at Maidstone Crown Court where three men and two teenagers are accused of killing a man whose body was found on a Sheppey beach.
The jury was due to hear more defence evidence, but Judge Jeremy Carey had to adjourn this morning when water started dripping on the heads of lawyers and staff.
The courtroom was recently refurbished and had a new lighting system installed.
The judge said that at one time there was a handyman available at the court to deal with maintenance.
The water was turned off when a plumber, who had to be called in from Margate, arrived. However, the case will now not sit at all today.
One barrister pointed out the high cost to the public of such delays - estimated to be about £20,000 in lawyers' and court time.
Mark Terry, 44, his son Matthew, 21, both of Grantham Road, Manor Park, east London, Christopher Bones, 21, of Dorothy Gardens, Dagenham, Essex, Jamie West, 19, of Cliff View Gardens, Warden, and a 16-year-old boy, of Sheerness, all deny murdering Gary Pocock in August last year.
They also deny perverting the course of justice by making false statements to police.
Mark Terry's wife Lisa, 32, also of Grantham Road, Manor Park, was accused of perverting the course of justice, but is no longer on trial.
The prosecution allege Mr Pocock, a 34-year-old caretaker, was lured to an isolated spot and beaten with baseball bats as punishment for allegedly molesting a teenage girl.
His body was found on a beach off Warden Bay Road on the morning of August 7 by a man using a metal detector.
The case is due to finish after Easter.
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