A MAJOR trial into an alleged murder in Didcot has been put on hold after a barrister tested positive for Covid 19.

Jurors in the case at Oxford Crown Court were sent home today after being told of the development and are not expected to return until next week.

It is understood that one of the counsel involved in the case had tested positive for coronavirus.

READ AGAIN: Our report from the opening of the case last week.

As a result the court - which in recent months has introduced a range of measures aimed at limiting the spread of the disease - has temporarily adjourned the trial.

The courtroom in which the major case is being held will now be 'deep cleaned' and jurors are expected to be tested for the virus.

The court said that the case was expected to resume on Monday.

A HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesperson said: “A courtroom has been closed for a deep clean after a positive Covid-19 test.

"We are following public health guidelines to ensure the safety of all court users.”

Isaac Boyland, 20, of Marlborough Road, Oxford, Brookton Lagan, 19, of Robin Way, Didcot, and Taison Cyrille, also 19, of Market End Way, Bicester, all deny murdering Darren MacCormick.

They further deny two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm upon two men - Matthew Ryman and Floyd Kennedy.

Boyland and Cyrille also deny a charge of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A - cocaine - between January 1 and 10 this year, which Lagan has admitted.

Their trial got under way last week.

READ ALSO: Man in his 70s burgled by two men who laughed as they stole from him.

Since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year Oxford Crown Court has implemented a wide range of measures designed to limit the spread of the disease.

While the court remains open to the public there are one-way systems, masks must be worn in public areas and court rooms observe social distancing measures.

Specially designed screens are also being installed in some areas to separate jurors and recent trials have been screened via videolink to adjacent court rooms.

After the second lockdown was announced earlier this week the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett of Maldon said that courts would continue to operate despite the new restrictions.

He said 'our experience since March has left us much better prepared' and added: "It is vital for the well-being of the country that the administration of justice continues to operate."