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Lawyers of manslaughter accused to argue for charge to be dismissed

Nigel Burgess

Lawyers for a Co Armagh man accused of manslaughter are to argue to have the charge dismissed, a court heard today (Tuesday).

Although he did not appear at Armagh Magistrates Court, sitting in Newry, for personal reasons, 51-year-old Brian Anthony Nicholl was charged with the unlawful killing of Nigel Burgess (main image) on April 11 last year.

Mr Burgess, who had the nickname Budgie and was 60-years-old at the time of his death, died at Ballinahone Close in Armagh in what police said was “an altercation”.

It was reported at the time that when police officers and emergency services arrived, they found Mr Burgess lying on the ground but, tragically, he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

It is understood that Nicholl, who is from Ballinahone Close, was arrested at the time and was freed pending further enquiries.

In court, defence counsel Patrick Taggart said that having read the legal papers “it would appear to me that it’s quite an unusual case” in that it is not the Crown case Mr Burgess’ death was caused by an injury but rather by “emotional stress” during an altercation.

“There was stress caused and there was an underlying condition,” said the lawyer who told Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter the defence team have lodged skeleton arguments to have the case dismissed.

DJ Prenter said he had read the submissions where Nicholl “denies assault and makes the case that he was acting in self defence which in turn means that there was some altercation which in turn, if he is raising self defence, that’s surely a matter for the jury…..but anyway, that not for today”.

Granting legal aid, the judge adjourned the case until August 31.

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