Another appeal case adjourned due to no interpreter
On 18 September 2013 there was an appeal case in Snaresbrook Crown Court against the conviction of a Turkish defendant. It was supposed to commence at 10:30 am in Court Room 13. I was booked by CPS to interpret for the victim, however, there wasn't an interpreter for the defendant/appellant as the court said they failed to have booked one in advance but they didn't make the reason clear as to why, and I couldn't further enquire into it as it would look inappropriate.
The court refused my offer of assistance to find a qualified but non-Capita interpreter as I told them I could help them find a qualified interpreter pretty quickly - I knew a group of registered colleagues who live nearby. Instead they tried with Capita for a while but couldn't get one so the case had to be adjourned to 10 October 2013.
The victim who had to travel a long distance to attend court with expenses met by public funds was very disappointed and distressed. Basically, a substantial amount of public money, probably several thousand pounds, was wasted just like that simply because they didn't want to pay most probably less than £200 to a professional interpreter for the day! Even if Capita had found an interpreter, there wouldn't have been any guarantee for the interpreter to be competent and not to be dismissed during the hearing which is often likely to be the case with Capita workers lacking qualifications. I wonder if somebody can tell me where is the sense in this?!
I have also been hearing a lot of horror stories from officers and lawyers of problems in courts with Capita interpreters. I always encourage them to report it online to the relevant sites. In fact, one officer was telling me about a huge mess made in a case in a crown court with a Somali interpreter.