Cases get adjourned as Capita linguists cancel at the last moment and NRPSI interpreters refuse to bail out
A colleague who previously worked for Capita informed me that this case, which had already been adjourned on several occasions, was listed today in Watford. Having asked her and the other 2 registered Hebrew interpreters not to accept direct bookings I wanted to know what would happen on this occasion so I travelled to Watford which is not far from me.
As I arrived at the Court I received a desperate phone call from the court asking if I was available to assist them. I informed them that I was on the premises but that I was not prepared to help them out as second option and told them to get the message to the MoJ that this new system is not working.
The case was called. The usher informed the magistrates that I was present in Court and when asked by the bench as to my position, I politely informed them that I was there as an observer and was not prepared to assist under the current farcical arrangements. The magistrates were then informed that on 12 March the case had been adjourned until 19 March for an interpreter to attend. Capita interpreter called in sick at the last moment and case was adjourned again until today, 23 April. Once again the Capita interpreter called in sick at the last moment.
The magistrates asked the clerk what they could do and were told that as the hearing was for sentencing, the defendant having already pleaded guilty, they would have to adjourn the case again until 4th June to get an interpreter.
Outside the court in answer to my question as to whether he had understood the Capita interpreter before, the defendant answered “hardly”. I told him that it was his right to understand everything and suggested that if the same thing reoccurred he should inform the court of the difficulty he was having.
(Redacted from http://www.rpsi.name/default/. Name of the reporting interpreter withheld by RPSI Linguist Lounge)