Judge apologises to Polish man for lack of interpreter
A CROWN court judge has publicly criticised a company for failing to supply intepreters on time for criminal cases involving foreign defendants.
Sitting at Worcester Crown Court, Judge Toby Hooper QC apologised to 20-year-old Damian Tutaj, a Polish national, for having to adjourn his case for a fourth time because of the nonappearance of an interpreter.
He said that the absence of an interpreter was becoming a serious problem in the courts and was an impediment to the administration of justice.
He named the company as Applied Language Solutions based in Oldham.
It was not the fault of the court service, prosecution or defence.
Dealing with Tutaj’s case at 11am, he was given a message by the clerk that an interpreter could arrive by 3pm.
The judge said he had little confidence that an interpreter would arrive by that time so he adjourned the case for a week.
He understood that Tutaj could understand a little English.
He told him: “I am ashamed of the system which fails yet again to provide an interpreter for you.”
Tutaj, of Cowl Street, Evesham, is accused of violent disorder in Bridge Street, Evesham, but has yet to enter a plea.
He was remanded into custody until Friday.
After the hearing, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “There have been an unacceptable number of problems in the first weeks of full implementation of the contract and we have asked the contractor to take urgent steps to improve performance.
We remain committed to ensuring the rights and needs of those who require interpreters are safeguarded, and are monitoring the system on a daily basis.