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. Court delays was e-mailed and told of a case at a London Crown Court. The Defendant was Polish defendant, and in need of an interpreter. The interpreter who was booked for the first two days of trial could not attend the third. The List Office failed to book an interpreter for day three.
    An interpreter attended at 12.15. By this time, the Judge was dealing with his follow-on trial.
    He intended to sum the case up; starting at 12.40 and going into the lunch hour. However, this was not possible as it would have meant that the jury did not receive any lunch at all. As a result, it was decided that the Judge would sum up at 2pm. In fact, the trainee usher brought over the jury panel in the follow-on trial; rather than the sitting jury.
    This caused further delay. The Judge eventually started summing up at 2.20pm; 4 hours later than intended.

  2. Courtdelays was e-mailed and told of a sentence case at a central London Crown Court. Case was listed at 10am, not reached until 12:50pm for reasons that were entirely foreseeable.

  3. Courtdelays was e-mailed and told of a case adjourned at a Bedfordshire Youth Court due to non-availability of a Bengali interpreter.

  4. Rebecca Saillet · · Reply

    1) 3 days plus 6 months

    2) Thames/Stratford Magistrates’ Court – 2012

    3) Albanian defendant with mental health difficulties – no interpreter booked for first appearance, adjourned to next day – no interpreter attended on 2nd day either – third day, interpreter finally attends and first appearance effective (client remanded in custody unnecessarily for 3 days)

    Set down for trial – no interpreter attended for trial – trial adjourned for further 3mths (despite unwilling complainant attending)

    Trial finally takes place (with interpreter!) 6 months after first appearance – defendant acquitted as complainant unwilling and purposefully does not come up to proof!!

    4) R v Hasani

  5. Marguerite Russell · · Reply

    At the CCC we lost an hour and a half because the contractors did not have enough dock officers. On another day we lost 30 mins because they were late delivering a defendant to court
    This means the contractors wasted almost half a day of court time in an eight defendant murder trial

  6. Stephen Spence · · Reply

    1. 1 1/2 hours
    2. 25.6.13 Norwich CC
    3. Trial listed at 10.30 (although fixture had already been put back by 1 day) nb when this 3 handed trial was listed in May it was stood out as the Court had only summonsed 13 potential jurors, 1 had gone sick and another identified himself as a police officer who knew most of the police and cps in Norfolk. Other matters listed in the same court at 9.30 and 10.15. Court eventually became free at mid-day.
    4. R v Wells, Webb and Holmes

  7. justin rouse · · Reply

    R V Brewer kingston crown court; 2 days for juror commitment and one for judge to prepare summing up.

  8. Claire Davies · · Reply

    17th June 2013 Southend Crown Court. R V P. Despite being due for trial the defendant in the couple of weeks before the trial was moved to Glen Parva. Trial listed 10.30 am start defendant produced at 12.15pm no eta could be given and so the jury panel sent away until 2pm and the court room empty all morning.

  9. michael haynes · · Reply

    R v Baker (historical rape fixture re-trial with one complainant) at Maidstone CC. Should have taken about 3 days but took 7 (or 8) court days for the following reasons: day 1 (Mon) – insufficient jurors and D too ill to attend, day 2: hardly any court time as previous case was over-running with juror problems and so only time for swearing jury and opening. Day 3: note from one of jurors that was unable to sit either Friday or the following Mon morning – the court clerk had missed this fact when selecting jurors. Decided better to continue but lose Fri and half of Mon. Day 4: We could not sit a full day as felt inapprop to have speeches on Thurs and summing up on Mon afternoon for such a short case… Day 5: Fri and so not sit as juror absent. Day 6 (Mon) Started at midday to accommodate the juror. Speeches for P and D 25 mins total but judge then took 2 hrs 15 mins to sum up as felt needed to remind jury given long weekend.. Day 7 Summing up finished & jury out before 11am but not return with verdicts until Day 8.

  10. M. Ahmed · · Reply

    Warwickshire Magistrates Court at Leamington Spa

    R v Fancis and R v Bradley

    Attend to take instructions at 0930. Both custody cases CPS have no papers waiting until mid day for papers.

    Hearings as a result take place late pm.
    Overloaded lists arebgeneral issues.

  11. S.Kumar · · Reply

    1) PCMH adjourned to another date. 1/2 hr wasted time on that day for Judge & court staff in trying to find out what was happening and then rebailing the defendant.
    2) St Albans CC, 24/06/13
    3) No Bulgarian interpreter
    4) R v Sabev

  12. Michael chambers · · Reply

    Croydon crown court
    Court 7
    June 24th 2013

    Bail application.

    Delay 1hour 10 minutes due to other cases in the list

  13. Jason Sugarman · · Reply

    R v MOOHAN Isleworth Crown Court listed for PCMH in error on the 24th June was meant to be the 1st July from endorsements and solicitors tried to speak to the list office on Friday but it was listed for 11am did not get on the 12:30pm to adjourn to the correct date the 1st July1 Completely unnecessary hearing. Defence and Prosecution Counsel attended.

  14. barracloughn · · Reply

    R v Khan; Kingston Crown Court.
    PCMH adjourned 3 times:
    1. CPS not served all of the evidence.
    2. CPS wanted to adjourn to allow for committal of a co-defendant (who could, quite frankly, have been charged and committed with the other defendants).
    3. CPS lost papers and so failed to commit the co-defendant.

  15. barracloughn · · Reply

    Blackfriars CC, R v Crampton. Defence wrote to Court to explain that defendant in a warned list case was stuck in Poland because of a problem with his aeroplane. The request was not to list the case the following day. List office accepted the reason as genuine (proof was provided) but listed the case nonetheless for the following day. Three barristers, civilian and police witnesses attended for the non-effective trial. We were released administratively by the list office at 1000 when the list officer hinted that she listed it only to meet her ‘trials reached’ target.

  16. David Povall · · Reply

    Woolwich CC, Ct 11, 25.06.13. Trial of Abbas, second day due to commence at 10am, delayed to 11.30am because of amount of other work listed before it.

  17. barracloughn · · Reply

    R v Singh and others, 9/5/13 at Isleworth Crown Court: a large, multi-handed PCMH was delayed when there were insufficient dock staff. The defendants were therefore brought up in small groups. The hearing should have taken 30-40 minutes. It lasted 3 hours.

  18. barracloughn · · Reply

    R v Singh, Isleworth Crown Court 24/6/13: Defendant produced at court at 1015 for a 1000 sentence hearing.

  19. barracloughn · · Reply

    R v Connors, Bristol Crown Court on 5/6/13: I was at court by 0830 for a 1000 hearing. The main defendant was produced from prison at midday. We were told that the contract terms for prisoner transport say nothing about delivering to court on time!

    After that initial delay there was no member of the court staff available to tannoy the case court so I had to walk round the building rounding up the parties.

  20. Adrienne Knight · · Reply

    Winchester Crown Court 19th – 21st June 2013.
    R v N
    The witness required video link. The so called new and state of the art equipment did not pick up the first few words of each answer of either the intermediary or the witness. The evidence was repeatedly interrupted to try and solve the problem. The mentally ill witness had to keep stopping and repeating his evidence. He tried to speak slowly and loudly in an exaggerated way. The intermediary tried to help by repeating his evidence. The ushers tried to move microphones, the techies were called in. Nothing worked. We gave up and moved to court three where the old equipment worked perfectly. On the third day the witness failed to come to court and no evidence was offered.

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