One week in May
To give an illustration of the chaos being caused by Capita Translation & Interpreting’s mismanagement of the courts and tribunals contract (posts passim), below is a record of the cases disrupted in the final week of May by failures to provide interpreters at all or provide them on time.
How much longer can Helen Young MP continue to assert that all is well with the courts and tribunals interpreting contract?
Guildford Crown Court
Details:Case listed for sentence. Prosecution & defence counsel, defendant and both complainants were all in attendance by 9.45am. However, the Arabic speaking interpreter was nowhere to be seen.
Capita sent a telephone message via a note to the judge at 10.40 am. It explained that the assigned interpreter “had informed Capita last night that he would not be able to attend as he was double booked”. Capita left a telephone message that it would be able to provide an interpreter for 2.30 pm, some 5 hours after the due time. The defendant was left to wait in custody.
Reported by Kuljeet Singh Dobe, Barrister, Old Bailey Chambers
Gloucester Crown Court
Details: 3 Romanian nationals for adjourned Plea & Case Management Hearing (PCMH). No interpreter. His Honour Judge Tabor QC was scathing in his comments about Capita.
Reported by Tim Burrows, Iacopi Palmer Solicitors LLP, Gloucester
Birmingham Crown Court
Court 1 – sitting at 12:00 pm
THE HONOURABLE MRS JUSTICE COX DBE
Trial (Part Heard)
T20127199 KREZOLEK Mariusz 20CV0147212
Details: Case delayed as Polish interpreter not provided by Capita for a child murder trial.
Guildford Crown Court
Details: Capita have failed to arrange Vietnamese interpreter for Plea & Case Management Hearing PCMH at Guildford today. Case has to be adjourned. Waste of court time/public money. Judge very angry with Capita and says he will demand a written explanation and financial penalty.
Reported by Guy Bowden (@BarristerGuy)
Leeds Magistrates Court
Details: Trial at Leeds Magistrates Court aborted due to lack of Polish interpreter. Booked last month. Defendant had come from Poland for trial; witnesses from Slough.
Reported by Sarah Greenan, Barrister (@Sarah_Zenith)
Derby Crown Court
Details: Case of R v Thang Vu – Vietnamese interpreter booked through Capita. Barrister reports: “None attended but we all waited all day for one to appear. ALS/Capita contacted several times by the court but no interpreter. Defendants in custody. Case put off to next day. Court booked their own interpreter and we got on the next day.”
Norwich Crown Court
Details: Case: R v Morkūnas T20127248
The above case was listed at 9.30 am for Custody Time Limit hearing. A Lithuanian interpreter – booked through Capita – should have been there for a conference at 9.00 am, but did not arrive until 10.30 am. The learned Judge did not appear to believe the explanation of the interpreter being booked for 10.30 am and said enquiries would be made.
The case was called on twice but the court could not proceed as no interpreter was present. The explanation given by Capita was that she, the interpreter, had been booked for 10.30. No member of the Norwich CC staff would have made a booking for 10.30 am as it is established over many years that CTL hearings are at 9.30 and need to be preceded by a conference. The knock-on effect was that the trial, in which I, Defence Counsel, was committed in an adjoining court, was delayed. Under the old system there were a number of excellent Lithuanian interpreters who lived within 40 minutes of the court, were familiar with its practices, and have never, in my experience, been late.
Reported by Defence Barrister.
Newport Crown Court
Details: Andrew(@Andjones1000) reports on Twitter: “Vietnamese Defendant not able to be sentenced as no interpreter arrived at court. Efficiency???”
Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court
Court Room 10
Case Name: O’Reilly + 11: T20127262; T20127250; T20120479; T20127269; T20127660; T20127381; T20127253;
Andrew Stephen O Reilly; Byron James Milne; Ceri Wilmot; Edwin Gorlee; Jason Lee Seale; Michael John Connolly; Sam Omidi; Steven John Petrie; Theodorus Van-Gelder; Wayne Braund
Two-day sentencing hearing listed to start on 23 May at 10.30 am. Ten defendants (one of which needed a Dutch interpreter) and eleven barristers left waiting in court packed with public and press as Capita fail to provide Dutch interpreter. “This is what happens when you sell off services to the cheapest bidder”, says barrister.
The interpreter booked by Capita was ‘on holiday’ and there had been a diary error. The Judge requested Capita come to court at 2pm to explain what had happened; they didn’t and he described the situation as ‘outrageous’. Capita appeared before the Judge the next day.
Prosecution counsel: Mr Gary Woodall
Defence counsel for defendant Van Gelder – Ms Gatto
Defence counsel for defendant Gorlee – Ms Thompson
All three barristers from 9, St Johns Street Chambers.
Wolverhampton Crown Court
Details: Solicitor-Advocate Malcolm Fowler (Dennings Solicitors) reports: “Problems on stilts with, in particular, Wolverhampton Crown Court one, with one case from Friday put off for Capita to show cause within 14 days as to why they should not show cause over no Vietnamese interpreter.
Today, no Polish interpreters for a two handed case put off until tomorrow and the Judge calling on Capita for wasted costs or at least to show cause.
Before the Resident Judge at the same court there was no Vietnamese interpreters for five defendants which has caused a trial due to start today to have to be adjourned.”
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