A lawyer representing the alleged president of the Toronto chapter of the Hells Angels is expected tomorrow to challenge the adequacy of meals served in courthouse holding cells, asking a judge to order that his client be provided with more to eat and drink during his four-month trial, set to begin Oct. 22.

In Toronto, lunch served to inmates at courthouses — most of whom are awaiting trial and presumed innocent — consists of a sand­wich, often cheese, and glass of water mixed with artificial flavour crystals.

The Toronto Police Service, which is responsible for the lunches, pays $1.19 per meal.

“My client is presumed innocent and has a right to defend himself against the charges at his trial,” Craig Bottomley, a lawyer representing John Neal, said.

“It is impossible for him to do so if all he can focus on is the fact that he is starving.”

A Toronto Star investigation found that Toronto courthouses may well be the most nutritionally inadequate in North?America.

Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash said the lunches represent a balance between meeting the needs of prisoners and making reasonable use of taxpayers’ money.

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