DELAYS in an alleged murder case that have seen the accused sit in jail for more than a year have tested the patience of Newcastle Local Court magistrate Caleb Franklin. The court heard Zachary Dowling, who is accused of murdering 63-year-old Brian Sullivan at a share house in Mayfield on June 29, 2021 has remained in custody since his case first came to court a month later. "At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this matter first came to the court in July last year," magistrate Franklin said on Wednesday. "The parties have already had over eight months to negotiate, while clearly it's in the interest of justice to negotiate - there is a limit to how much time the courts can reasonably allow. "The court's patience is well and truly being stretched, bearing in mind there is a person sitting in custody behind the name on these matters." The court heard Dowling's lawyer, and the state prosecution authority, the DPP, were seeking a further two to three weeks for negotiations. Magistrate Franklin told the parties he would adjourn the matter until the end of November, noting both needed to be present and fully instructed on the next occasion if there were to be any further adjournment applications. Dowling was charged with murder after police found a body in a Regent Street boarding house which they allege had been dead for about four days. He has not entered any pleas to the charges against him. IN THE NEWS: WHAT DO YOU THINK? We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Newcastle Herald website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.