HALIFAX -- Two trials in Nova Scotia involving 15 inmates accused of taking part in a jailhouse stabbing have been delayed because of the province's recent COVID-19 outbreak.

Several lawyers and the Crown took part in a conference call Friday that ended with Supreme Court Justice Jamie Campbell deciding the first of the two trials -- originally slated to start Monday -- will be delayed until after May 19.

The 46-year-old victim allegedly assaulted by the inmates sustained life-threatening injuries in the Dec. 2, 2020, attack at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, N.S.

The 15 accused -- all males between the ages of 22 and 41 -- face charges that include conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, forcible confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and resisting or obstructing a police officer.

One of the inmates faces an additional charge of assaulting a police officer.

Because of the complexity and logistics of the case, the accused have been split into two groups for separate trials.

The union that represents correctional officers at the jail has alleged inmates initially blocked guards from reaching the victim, who has recovered.

An oversized courtroom has been built inside a convention centre in downtown Halifax to allow for physical distancing.

Campbell, however, made a point today of highlighting the fact that those providing technical support for the trials will not be able to adhere to that protocol.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2021.