Judge Orders Another Adjournment
On Monday 5th March I went to Birmingham Magistrates' Court where I witnessed a ridiculous situation. The defendant's solicitor told me what had happened the week before. The guy had been in custody since 2nd March as the ALS person, who had been booked for the morning hearing, didn’t turn up. When the court's staff chased ALS after midday on 2nd March, they said no interpreter was coming. They re-booked for the afternoon but no one showed up. They adjourned the case until Monday 5th March, leaving the guy in custody for the weekend.No ALS person showed up on Monday again leaving listings no choice but to look for an NRPSI interpreter.
Now the beautiful part – when I got to the court, the defendant had been moved to prison, leaving his solicitor furious! I went into the court room with her and the judge read out the notes on the case, calling the situation with interpreters "confusing". They adjourned the case for Tuesday but despite a request from the solicitor to book a "proper" interpreter in advance, they decided to make sure that the defendant could be transferred back and the hearing would take place before booking an ALS person at a short notice again. The solicitor felt it was Catch 22 as she knew very well that ALS wouldn’t provide an interpreter for her client. It was very apparent that ALS was viewed as nonsense by both the court staff and solicitors present. I was told that solicitors were very well aware of the contact details of people they needed to complaint to.