Courts still in chaos as interpreter problems persist
This happened at a fraud trial at Croydon Crown Court today.
At the plea and case management hearing in November 2012, the Defence requested an Urdu interpreter.
At 9.30am today, court staff were frantically checking whether an interpreter would be attending. After numerous enquiries with the successful contract provider of interpreting services, it transpired that no interpreter had been booked. We were informed that an interpreter was now on his way from Leeds and would be at court for a 2pm start. Court staff, advocates and judge not happy and jury kept waiting for 4 hours.
The interpreter arrived for a trial start of 2.27pm, thus ensuring that a half day was wasted and costing the tax payer additional legal and court fees & costs... an additional refresher of around £400 for both counsel and costs of court staff etc. The judge asked why the interpreter was not at court for 10am and he explained that he was booked for 2pm.
15 minutes into the trial a second Urdu interpreter arrived and had to be sent back to Leeds - at the tax payers' expense. Perhaps the two interpreters should have "competitively tendered" to interpret today...
Many thanks to the successful contact bidder for the provision of court interpreting services - value for money and a munificence of interpreters albeit 4 and half hours after the due time and one more interpreter than was strictly necessary.