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. 1) 1 day
    2) Reading Crown Court
    3) Court only listed one of two defendants for trial; second defendant in custody, could not be produced at short notice. Caused further two hour delay on third day because of knock-on effect on expert witness’ availability.

  2. Barry Smith · · Reply

    1-2 day trial (R. v T) – was due in for trial in a warned list on 20 June; there was court space available but adjourned due to lack of jurors (Leicester CC). There was a suggestion that insufficient jury pool was a routine reason for adjournments. Defendant, counsel and five witnesses at court all day before this was established at around 15:30.

    1. Will Paynter · · Reply

      Apparently the Jury panel budget is down to each Court rather than being paid centrally. So Courts are routinely trying to get away with as few Jurors as possible to save costs and it is common for Courts to stand idle whilst Jurors finish other trials. Recently at Isleworth there were 3 Courts at once waiting for Jury panels.

  3. 1) morning
    2) Westminster Mags 17 June 2013
    3) defendants bailed and witnesses warned to attend City of London Magistrates Court (defendants even handed map by court at previous hearing on how to get to City of London Mags). All turn up at 9.30 to be told papers at Westminster so we all had to go to Westminster Magistrates Court. Tried to persuade DJ that it would be easier for court to fax their papers to City of London, but told we all had to travel to Westminster. When we arrived at Westminster we weren’t on their listing. Costs of additional travel for defendants and witnesses ordered out of central funds. Waste of time and money.

  4. 1. Whole day
    2. Highbury mags feb 2013
    3. Bail granted in principle . Put back to confirm address, addres confirmed by 2pm but DJ decided he was duty bound to hear a 3 hr HSE sentence first, case called back on at 5 pm . Legal aid refused on Nat ins number . Didn’t see again. All day no pay

  5. Elizabeth Wheeler · · Reply

    Barkingside magistrates. 22 June (Saturday). 22 cases in the list. All custody. Court doesn’t start until after 11. 30 (from memory) as magistrate missing and they have to send out for a replacement. At least 4eople had been ready since 0945.

    In fairness to the replacement magistrate who did turn up, he said words to the effect of “it’s late, let’s crack on” at the beginning and 1. Got a “hear hear” and 2.proceeded to deal with matters at near the speed of a DJ

  6. Jeffrey Israel · · Reply

    Maidstone CC
    Waiting for interpreter to arrive from Birmingham(!) for Vietnamese client who was produced from custody (£800 per production)
    She arrived at 12pm and was Chinese
    Case adjourned a week

  7. Dave Foulkes · · Reply

    1. 90 minutes.
    2. Norwich Magistrates, 24.06.13
    3. Waiting for CPS to obtain witness availability to fix trial following entry of Not Guilty plea at first hearing, common assault.
    4. R v Catton.

  8. M ubhi · · Reply

    R v Grimsley Coventry crown court 28th May. V/L pcmh. First the judge does not arrive and no information given as to why not, it’s thought by the court clerk the judge may have gone to a different court as Cov Crown is not normally open. Case then transferred to court two but by that time the video link was closed down by the prison!!! Totally wasted day.

  9. R v Suman
    Oxford Magistrates today 24th June.
    Matter due for plea today. 2 handed case adjourned 3 weeks due to lack of interpreter and one defendant now on holiday.

  10. R v May – adjourned from last Friday as legal aid not determined despite submission 7 days earlier. Case could not be called on until 2pm today as court had to contact legal aid department in Reading to chase.

  11. Bonnie Clyde (@RoughCommon) · · Reply

    Today @ Maidstone.
    4 week trial could not begin at 10.30 as the defendant had not been produced. Production order had been sent to wrong prison. Defendant arrived at court at 12.20.

  12. Courtdelays were e-mailed and told that at Durham Crown Court there are only two courtrooms. Listing practices mean that PCMHs, sentences, mentions are often listed in Court 1 (before the Resident Judge), even when trials are part-heard. As a result a 3 day trial often takes over a week.

  13. Rob Simpson · · Reply

    1) 5 hrs 30 mins
    2) Portsmouth Magistrates Court 21st June 2013
    3) Just the normal overnight custody cases and long lists – I was ready by 10.00am
    4) R -v- North

    1) Until 15.06
    2) Basingstoke Magistrates Court, 20th June 2013
    3) Police sent charge sheet and pre cons but no other papers for the client in custody. These finally arrived at 12.50.
    4) R -v- White


  14. 1. 3 days
    2. Camberwell Green 19/06/13 and 21/06/13
    3,. interpeter not warned so remanded para 5 . Then interpreter not attend till 2pm. Previous week no interpreter attended for same client on different case.
    4. R v Phan

  15. Jonathan Turner · · Reply

    Woolwich Crown Court
    Delay approx 70 min. DVD player not working in court. Once it was persuaded to work the witness in the live link witness room could not hear it do to the poor quality speakers in the live link room. Ultimately witness had to watch DVD of their evidence in chief in a witness waiting room and not concurrently with the jury. This would then cause a further delay as jury finish watching the evidence in chief before the witness had.

  16. Oliver Kirk · · Reply

    today. 24/6/13
    Chelmsford Crown
    r v Gonzales and ors PCMH
    Case listed 11.30
    Both interpreters (2) fail to attend. Court arranges for 1 replacement. Case not able to be heard until 14.30.
    5 counsel, police officer and Judge all kept waiting

  17. Nicholas Clarke · · Reply

    Trial- Minshull Street Crown Court – R v S allegation of rape – 04 March 2013. Solicitors had been requesting Facebook entries of complainant – the messages between defendant and complainant during their relationship – issue consent. On first day of trial police indicated that “they had no facilities” to obtain these messages. Eventually – defence counsel obtained the complainant’s consent to access her facebook page and copied the messages himself. There were 338 A4 pages of messages (over 3,000) in total – all unused material. The appropriate application was to adjourn but client in custody. Therefore the messages were read by both Counsel and reduced to 274 relevant messages – we did the typing. This took 3 days – no jury so not being paid at all. The police were criticised at the end of the trial for failing in their duty to investigate this aspect.

  18. David forrester · · Reply

    South Tyneside mags. 24 June
    Defendant name. Krall. S47
    Listed for : bail app
    Produced from prison (no video link)
    No Hungarian interpreter arrived.
    Case adjourned for further production on 24 June
    Cost of production entirely wasted

  19. Stephen Spence · · Reply

    1) Over half a day
    2) Norwich Crown Court
    3) Defendant delivered from prison to Cambridge CC rather than Norwich
    4) R v Merry and another

  20. Ed Smyth · · Reply

    1) 1 week
    2) City of London Magistrates’ Court, 13/6/13
    3) No papers sent to CPS by police (only 2 CCTV discs which couldn’t be viewed on prosecutor’s tablet)
    4) CPS v David Rushton

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