Capita court interpreter cancels so solicitor has to use his basic Polish
Another email received from a solicitor on 10th April 2013:
"Meanwhile in sunny Reading.... We had a Pole in the cells on Monday for breach of bail. He had been away from home in his curfew time and his tag had mysteriously come off his leg. No interpreter. So with my bad Polish (he was lucky I was duty perhaps - my Polish is basic but improving) I talked to him on my own. What is "tag" in Polish? No idea, pocket dictionary was no help. I said "it's like a label (metka) which is round your leg". Predictably, he did not remember much due to excessive alcohol, but he did know what I was asking about. The court office had been told that an interpreter would arrive for 2 p.m. At 2.30 I asked them to make another phone call, and they were told that since the agency was under the impression that the interpreter would not be required until 3 p.m. - and I can't believe anyone in the court office or police station would have told them that - so the person who was booked to come had decided to cancel!
It was breach of Crown Court bail for a serious offence and I thought his own solicitors ought to be there, and of course an interpreter, so he got remanded for one day. At least I was able to tell him what was happening. Otherwise he would have been terrified out of his wits. It is just not good enough!!
This one, though, has a happy ending. When the prosecutor was doing her results at the end of court, she discovered that the Crown Court case had been discontinued. So he was then called back into court, the court clerk phoned me, and he was invited out of the dock so that I could tell him it was all over. The tag ought to have been removed. And now I know that the words I needed were "lokalizator elektroniczny".