A JUDGE blasted an inmate accused of attempting to murder a prison officer as he refused him a change of legal team for a fifth time.

David Bieber, also known as Nathan Coleman, is accused of attempting to murder Alison Smith at HMP Long Lartin.

The 55-year-old originally denied the attempted murder, wounding her with intent to do her grievous bodily harm and unauthorised possession in prison of a knife or offensive weapon (a pronged metal bar), when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court back in 2019. 

Worcester News: CASE: Inmate David Bieber, also known as Nathan Coleman, attempted murder trial has been heavily delayed. Picture: PACASE: Inmate David Bieber, also known as Nathan Coleman, attempted murder trial has been heavily delayed. Picture: PA

But since then the trial has been rescheduled an astonishing eight times with trial dates in May 2019, November 2019, January 2020, April 2020, September 2020, February 2021 and October 2021 all missed.

The latest hearing of the case, held on Tuesday morning (April 3) at Worcester Crown Court, heard an application for the transfer of legal aid to another set of lawyers. 

Michael Anning, the most recent to represent Bieber, told the court that prior to him taking on the case he was aware of issues with legal representation in the past.

He said due to that he and his legal firm had done their "utmost" to remain on this case, but it had now reached the point they have become "professionally embarrassed" and had to withdraw.

Mr Anning explained it would be impossible to continue to represent Bieber as the defendant had been changing his instructions on both the approach to the defence, and the factual basis for it.

Worcester News: COURT: Worcester Crown CourtCOURT: Worcester Crown Court

Another solicitor Andrew Malloy said he was prepared to take on representing Bieber but when asked by Judge Nicholas Cartwright if he could guarantee the current trial date of June 13 this year would go ahead, Mr Malloy replied that he couldn't.

After a short period to consider his judgement, Judge Cartwright told Bieber that he was not prepared to grant another transfer of aid to a legal team. 

The judge explained: "When the (June 2022) trial was set it was made very clear that was the date the case was going to be tried.

"Every effort has been made to assist David Bieber to have representation of his choice."

The judge said the situation was down to David Bieber's actions in the past three years.

"He has no intention of conducting himself in a way that will permit this trial to be smooth running, without difficult," the judge said.

READ MORE: Attempted murder trial delayed for three years set to take place

READ MORE: David Bieber (AKA Nathan Wayne Coleman) denies attempted murder of prison officer at HMP Long Lartin

The judge said he would give a week to decide if Mr Anning wished to remain on the case, to which the barrister replied: "We have reflected on more than one occasion on this issue - I'm afraid the position is firmly set."

The judge said if Bieber was unrepresented during his trial, the court would appoint an advocate to act on his behalf to conduct any cross examination of the complainant.

Bieber, who appeared via videolink from HMP Wakefield, then attempted to talk about having another legal representative who he wanted to issue an expert report saying he was not fit to stand trial.

The judge replied he had until Friday to serve that report ahead of the next hearing of the case on Monday, (May 9) and closed the videolink to the prison.