What to do

If you have recently experienced a delay in a criminal court please take a moment to leave a short reply below which explains:

(1) How long the delay was;

(2) When and in which court it happened;

(3) What caused the delay;

(4) The case name, if disclosable (please respect any reporting restrictions which may be in place).

It’s up to you what information you post about yourself of course, but be aware that anonymous replies will carry less weight than replies from identifiable and credible sources.

If you would prefer not to have your reply (or part of your reply) posted here but you still want to inform us of a delay (or matters relating to a delay) which you have experienced, please send us an email at courtdelays@5kbw.co.uk and we will treat it in confidence.

Please do try to ensure the accuracy of any information provided as the purpose of this exercise will be frustrated if the Ministry of Justice is presented with unreliable data.

Many thanks,

The South Eastern Circuit


  1. Rhys Davies · · Reply

    Arrive at Hendon Magistrates to act as duty solicitor only to be told all custody cases are being taken to Willesden Magistrates. The jailers are very apologetic but say they did now know either. Something about a “meeting”. No attempt made to telephone my office to divert me there instead. I am not paid for any travel or disbursements.

  2. Rhys Davies · · Reply

    Uxbridge Magistrates Court today. Client attended as instructed by police in a postal requisition which they had altered the venue. Uxbridge has case listed – at Ealing. I call Ealing who say case is listed there and we have to travel. PLO not to be seen. I go to Uxbridge Police Station where front desk tells me the OIC has put on CRIS the change of venue and gives me a name. I call OIC and only get her colleague who is not able to assist. PLO attends and speaks to list office who will not list case. Client extremely upset as has sick child at home. I call Ealing list office and now being told no bail case should be listed there on a Monday and they will phone Uxbridge. Case in just before lunch and sent to Isleworth CC. 2.5 hours doing work police and list office should have done in the first place all for a hearing I do not get paid for.

  3. Rhys Davies · · Reply

    Westminster magistrates court today. Dealt with one case promptly but had an unresolved bail variation application outstanding. Client had been granted bail in Crown Court after being remanded in custody by magistrates pending sentence. Made enquiries only to be told application dealt with yesterday without us being told hearing was listed or the result. Bail variation refused because client still in custody! Indeed court purported to have remanded him in custody to next hearing. Having persuaded duty legal advisor client was on bail and simply needed to change address, get case listed. Prosecutor and PLO agree to bail variation. Magistrates and legal advisor in their wisdom ask how they can vary a Crown Court order. Explaining I cannot appeal a decision until they have refused it and CPS agree the application. Bench refuses to accept client is on bail. Put back for further PLO enquiries. Court rises for lunch at 12.25. Minimum three hours wasted in the most ridiculous farce imaginable.

  4. Rhys Davies · · Reply

    Hendon magistrates court three handed assault case adjourned for CPS review two weeks ago so wasted attendance then (CPS review pre-charge anyone?). Today still no review. CPS case is exclusively CCTV which they have not watched. AI says it does not show anything evidentiaĺly significant. I point out there is no case to answer and DJ agrees. CPS insists case put down for full day trial.

  5. Ligia Xavier · · Reply

    Case of Miss B Guerreiro, Isleworth Crow Court (court 5) on 09/01/2015. Hearing due at 11:00. No interpreter at the requested time. Portuguese interpreter arrived 2 hours later according to counsel.

  6. R v Myhill at Westminster MC. 2 day trial April 2014. 2nd day wasted waiting for Japanese interpreter who did not attend. Adj part heard to June, no interpreter attended. Adj 4 weeks, interpreter attended but of category 3, DJ so dissatisfied with standard of interpreter the witness did not give evidence. Adj approx 4 weeks to July. This time CPS booked wrong advocate and did not send their file to court. Case adjourned de novo to 1 December 2014. s.19 wasted costs against CPS awarded. Trial began afresh in December, dealing with allegation from November 2013.

  7. Klassen and another at Southwark CC. No Russian interpreter for prelim when he was ready to plead, did so at PCMH. None for sentence 16/12 when all parties waited around all morning, delay for 2 days. No interpreter 18/12, forced to wait until afternoon for stand-in interpreter.

  8. Rhys Davies · · Reply

    Highbury Magistrates. Two clients in cells for robbery and no AI at almost noon. Delay caused by new system of court allocation which causes delays every day at Highbury. List office advice is “your case will be listed in court 1, 2 or 3″. I now have a court allocated but there is a “huge pile” of files in the list office awaiting attention. Apparently this ludicrous system which does not work is going to be rolled out to other courts. Another example of the burden of work shifted from CPS because it can’t cope to court who can’t either with fallout on the defence.

  9. Greg Unwin · · Reply

    R v Tudor and Pana, for mention at Woolwich Crown Court on 01/12/14. No interpreter. Prison van from Maidstone running late. Van turned back. Case adjourned.

  10. Lee Mott · · Reply

    8/8/14 – Salisbury Magistrates Court.
    Attending to deak with a brief sentencing hearing (took 15 minutes once we got on).

    Court had decided during the week to combine two courts. The Crown sent two advocates for one court wasting their time and the list took much longer to deal with. Having arrived at 09.30 I left at 15.30. Many others in the same position. Court saved money but CPS and legal aid spend will be greater.

    My case R -v- Ridley.

  11. Stephen Spence · · Reply

    Ipswich Crown Court, 3 ineffective cases so far today:

    R v Cline – defendant not produced from Chelmsford Prison despite being required – adjourned to tomorrow

    R v Sparks – defendant not produced from Norwich prison despite being required for sentence – adjourned to next week

    R v D – sentence adjourned from April for psych report to consider dangerousness. 17 page report addresses everything but dangerousness.

  12. Nick James · · Reply

    Delays with s18 trial at Wood Green caused by list office. V serious stabbing case in a warned list (?!?!) with 4-5 day estimate.

    Case called in and put in front if a recorder who has less than four sitting days remaining (listed not before 1130, almost 1 by the time called on).

    Waited rest of day to get court only to be called in late pm and told none available. One defendant in custody, the other a 21 year old woman of previous good character who had taken the time off work from her job in the NHS.

    The complainant arrived at court shaking with fear only to be told ‘sorry not today’ having waited hours.

    Lost office then insisted we return for a mention two days hence to refix. Asked to fix that day and was told that she couldn’t. No explanation. When asked why the position would be any cleverer two days hence she simply said it would, with no explanation offered. In short she was truculent and utterly indifferent to the difficulties everyone faced. When asked if it could be fixed administratively she refused! So we all have to head back there!!

    The recorder who we appeared in front of was extremely apologetic (not his fault at all) and said he would deal with the case when re-fixing and would take account of dates etc of counsel and defendant in so far as he could.

    All this in front if the list officer. So no surprise to find the mention listed in front of another judge altogether!!

    The tail wagging the dock. Money wasted, complainant and defendants mistreated. But hey ho, it came in during the warned list technically so the stars are fine. Well done Wood Green list office

  13. Greg Unwin · · Reply

    R v Conteh, Wood Green Crown Court for PCMH on 9th April and 16th April. On the last two occasions the PCMH could not proceed, because the court failed to ensure that DEPMU produced the defendant from immigration detention. The case has been adjourned by a further week.

  14. Delyth Crisp · · Reply

    Murder trial at Stafford Crown Court on 31/3/14 delayed by half a day as the van transporting the 2 defendants from HMP Leicester didn’t arrive until after midday. Magic.

  15. olwen davies · · Reply

    Cps v Popat Loughborough MC 4th April
    Interprete failed to show but on enquiry, the court discovered they had booked her for Leicester MC. Two trials were listed, they started the one without an intepreter finishing at 12.40pm. The other had to wait till 1.30pm to start. So 3 child witnesses had to wait 4 hours to begin testifying. When they did, the prosecutor, who had clearly done no preparation, took so long to exam in chief that we went part-heard.

  16. olwen davies · · Reply

    Chowdhary v Leics City Council. Mon 24th Mar pm Leics Mags Ct. Private payer appealing v taxi licence refusal. Listed at 2pm. Trial from am still going- late start as cps hadn’t served half the evidence and unused. 2 other trials from am waiting to start. Full list for pm in same ct. Ct adj my client for want of time. He amd his 2 witnesses lose a half day off work n he will need to pay a refresher for me unless someone let’s me off my utilities bills that week.

  17. Greg Unwin · · Reply

    Case of R v Avram aka Stan, listed for sentence at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court on 21/03/14.

    Sentence had been ineffective yesterday because the defendant was not produced from Wandsworth. Apparently they were confused, as he has an alias. To avoid repetition of the problem, the listing office sent an email to the cells and to Wandsworth with the defendant’s prison number insisting that he must be brought to court the following day.

    Today, he was put on the van, but then taken off again when Kingston cells couldn’t find his name on their list. After a couple of hours waiting for enquiries it emerged that there were no video link slots available, and that he could not be brought from Wandsworth to Kingston later that day. The Recorder is not sitting next week. Hence a further 2 week adjournment.

  18. Adam Butler · · Reply

    Matter listed for sentence at Kingston CC on 20th March following transfer from Southwark. Kingston used the first name rather than surname, so def not produced. Sentence adj to 21/3

  19. Delyth Crisp · · Reply

    Prelim at Nottingham Crown Court this morning. Please email me directly for case name if necessary. 7 handed conspiracy to murder, brought forward from Leicester Crown Court this Thursday. All Gujarati speaking. Court had failed to book an interpreter. Only through the generosity of a kind Gujarati speaking paralegal were we able to even explain in the most basic terms what was to happen in court (timetabling).

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