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17 per cent of trials at Boston Magistrates' Court are 'ineffective'

By Boston Target  |  Posted: August 10, 2012

TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS: Almost one on five trials listed to take place at Boston Magistrates' Court were classed as "ineffective" and had to be rescheduled.

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ALMOST a fifth of trials set to be held at Boston Magistrates' Court during a 12 month period were stood down on the day they were due to start it has been revealed.

Figures released to the Target under the Freedom of Information Act show that between May 1, 2011 and April 30, 2012 there were 26 ineffective trials at the court out of a total of 152 scheduled to take place.

This equates to 17 per cent of all trial hearings listed having to be put off and rescheduled for a later date.

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, which produced the statistics, defines an ineffective trial as one that "does not go-ahead due to action or inaction by one or more of the prosecution, the defence or the court."

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Trials held at Boston Magistrates' Court include those for offences such as common assault, drink driving, theft, causing criminal damage and poaching.

Taxpayers' Alliance campaign manager Robert Oxley called for action to taken to cut the number of ineffective trials taking place at Boston.

He told the Target: "Rescheduled court cases are an extra burden on taxpayers at a time when they are already struggling to fund a ballooning bill for the courts and legal aid.

"The authorities need to ensure unnecessary delays aren't adding to the cost of the justice system and undermining faith in it. Reducing the number of ineffective cases would not only save taxpayers' money but also reduce the wait for defendants seeking a verdict."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Criminal justice agencies work closely together to ensure as many trials as possible go ahead at the earliest opportunity.

"In fact, the number of ineffective trials at Boston Magistrates' Court has fallen substantially over the past year.

"We will continue to look for ways to avoid issues which can delay a trial including working to ensuring witnesses and defendants attend court when requested."

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