The trial of a Belfast man accused of raping and then shooting dead an American tourist in the city last December has been sensationally adjourned pending an investigation into the behaviour of the trial Judge.
Lord Justice David Collins, who presided over the trial throughout the last two weeks, is understood to have been suspended by the Courts Service while an investigation is carried out into reports that he summed up the case to the jury in the style of The Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show.
"I've never quite seen anything like it before," reported Barry McAuley, who was covering the case for a local paper. "The trial had been pretty normal up to that point. The jury was in and we were expecting the Judge to start summarising the case. Instead, he just started singing gibberish and waving his hands about as if he was conducting an orchestra."
Gerard McTaggart, solicitor for the Defendant, was similarly stunned. "I mean, over the years I've learned to try and ignore the craziness of Judges," he said. "But it was impossible to ignore one throwing the file of case papers over his head and shouting, "Bork, bork, bork!"
Following this initial outburst, Collins is reported to have proceeded to sum up the case to a perplexed jury in mock Swedish, including describing the offences as "inny-outy, inny-outy wid de no-no" and "boom-bang in de head wid de shootin," before adjourning for lunch at around 10:50a.m.
Collins, who was previously suspended in 2004 following a controversial judgment in which he ruled that it was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for his neighbour's 15 year old daughter to be allowed to draw the curtains on her bedroom window, has yet to comment on these allegations. However, unconfirmed reports suggest that he may be in police custody today after members of the public reportedly witnessed him running after a chicken through Belfast city centre while dressed in full judicial regalia and waving a meat cleaver.