Today’s Shropshire Star reports that a rape trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court has had to be delayed by five months “after a blundering agency sent the wrong interpreter.”

The blundering agency in question – although not mentioned by the Star is most likely our old friends Capita Translation & Interpreting, which still has the courts and tribunals interpreting contract for England and Wales despite persistent difficulty in hitting performance targets.

Shirehall and Shrewsbury Crown Court viewed from Lord Hill's Column. The Crown Court is the low-rise, grey building on the right

Shirehall and Shrewsbury Crown Court viewed from Lord Hill’s Column. The Crown Court is the low-rise, grey building on the right. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Anyway, back to story…

Roberto Roa Vallejo of Telford, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, was due to stand trial for rape at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday. Vallejo denies the alleged offence, which took place on 29th March 2015.

At previous hearings Vallejo had the services of a Spanish interpreter with proficiency in his own Dominican dialect.

The same interpreter had been requested for his Crown Court trial. However, basic Spanish interpreter was provided instead.

Prosecuting counsel Ms Lynette McClement informed the court that the defendant couldn’t understand the interpreter. As no replacement interpreter could be guaranteed for today, Judge Peter Barrie adjourned the trial to the next available date, which is 19th September, with the blunder costing the public purse between £2,000 and £3,000.

Commenting on the cock-up, Judge Barrie is reporting by the Star as saying: “It is not the court’s fault, but it is deeply regrettable.”

When a Crown Court judge describes something as “regrettable“, one can be fairly certain s/he is in reality absolutely livid.