Legal proceedings against two men accused of mounting a campaign of harassment against Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston were halted today after a defence lawyer made an application that the judge involved should no longer deal with the case.
Stephen Townley the lawyer representing one of the accused, David Ragozzino, made the application at Blackpool Magistrates Court in an email to District Judge Jeff Brailsford and the Crown Prosecution Service.
The application asked the court to consider whether a change of venue would be appropriate, whether the two defendant’s case be separated and whether Judge Brailsford should continue to sit.
Ragozzoni, 34, of Oakwood Close,Blackpool and Stephen Reed, 58, of Common Edge Road, Blackpool are accused of sending Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston numerous offensive texts between April and July this year.
They are further accused of preparing to send Karl Oyston’s wife Victoria an offensive message.
The judge told Mr Townley and Reed’s lawyer Trevor Colebourne and prosecutor Jim Mowbray said legal arguments which he said must be “fact based” and be submitted in writing to the court by Friday afternoon this week.
He adjourned the next hearing until the following Tuesday.
The judge said:”Some of what I have read is not all fact based which it needs to be.
This must be filed before the points can be debated.”
The two men in the dock were further bailed on condition they have not contact with Karl Oyston, Victoria Oyston and Karl’s son Samuel Oyston.
They must not enter any Oyston Estate Agency.
Reed can contact Karl Oyston by e mail in relation to a High Court matter in which Reed is defending himself.