Defendant found not guilty, ALS/Capita interpreter says nothing
I was in Cardiff Crown Court working with a solicitor last week. While we were waiting for the jury, I noticed the ALS French interpreter chatting to the defendant as if they were best friends, even the judge was staring. I later learnt that she had come all the way from Wiltshire! ALS booked her into a hotel too, so great savings for Capita and/or MoJ!
Anyway, as the trial started the truth unfolded! It was her first trial in a crown court and she told the usher she didn't know where to go, etc. I sat right behind in the public gallery and listened to it all. She is French and spoke good English but she couldn't cope with the speed of the prosecutor’s opening speech or the defendant’s barrister; I would say half was translated.
We had a break for an hour later because the judge decided that the prosecution didn't have a case. So when we were out, the Barrister wanted to talk to the defendant who then said that she had to elbow the interpreter to interpret! When we went in afterwards, the judge addressed the jury, but absolutely nothing was said to the defendant! At the end he asked about their verdict. They found her not guilty and the interpreter was quiet, not one word was said! The judge then said: “you are free to go now!” Still not one word was said and I whispered from the back: “It's over, you can leave.”
I spoke to the ALS linguist afterwards and found out that she was a French teacher, she was offered the work by someone she knew who works for Capita.