The Circuit Court judge presiding over Athlone and Mullingar has indicated he will have little patience for accused persons who leave it until the last minute to plead guilty.
Judge Tony Hunt made his comments at Mullingar Circuit Court, in the context of a trial list that stretches to almost seventy cases.
Having called over the full list on the first day of the May sitting last week, there was just one plea of guilty, leading the judge to suspect that people are waiting until they are almost before the jury before pleading.
Such a plea will be of “practically no benefit”, he advised barristers.
The judge indicated that he will be requesting special sittings to deal with some trials on the list which are expected to last up to several weeks each.