The trial of a man accused of murdering his 21-year-old girlfriend in Cardiff has been put off until next year.
Madog Rowlands, 23, from Coed Efa in New Broughton, Wrexham, denies murdering Lauren Griffiths and is due to stand trial.
The defendant is alleged to have murdered Ms Griffiths on April 30, 2019 at Glynrhondda Street in Cathays.
His case was listed for mention before Judge Paul Thomas QC at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, June 4, in relation to trial date.
During the 30-minute hearing Rowlands was represented by Caroline Rees QC and Aled Watkins with Michael Jones QC and Jason Howells for the prosecution.
The case was last in court on April 27 when the custody time limit was extended from April 30 to June 12.
Mr Jones said: “The trial was vacated because of restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We understand there is still no trial date.”
Judge Thomas replied: “I can give you some news hot off the press. Just before we joined this video hearing I was given the date of November 2. That, I am told, is the first date we can accommodate it.”
Ms Rees said she would not be available for that date as the trial of seven defendants accused of murdering teenager Harry Baker in Barry is due to take place in November and December.
She said she also had to consider when the case of Conlan Dunnion, Euan Peters and Perrie Dunwell – charged with murdering 22-year-old Shafiul Islam in Newport – would be listed.
Mr Jones said: “I do appreciate the stresses and strains the listings office is under.”
The judge replied: “We are trying to put not just a quart in a pint pot but several gallons in a pint pot at the moment.”
The prosecutor said restrictions about cleaning courts meant the trial was likely to last for four to five weeks rather than the original two to three-week estimate. Mr Jones added: “We do not know whether matters will have changed for better or for worse.”
He suggested the trial could be accommodated in January and accepted that was “a considerable way off in the future” but only a month or two on from the latest proposed date.
The judge said: “We do not know what is going to be happening in January.”
He pointed out there are only a limited number of judges able to try a case of this nature. A trial date was fixed for Monday, January 11, 2021.
Judge Thomas said: “That comes with a huge caveat. Firstly that a judge can be found for that date. I am afraid we need to grab this date.
“Mr Rowlands has been awaiting trial for a particularly long time. This needs to have a degree of priority.”