Maidstone Crown Court rape trial delayed due to poor facilities management
A judge has expressed his growing frustration after court proceedings were brought to an abrupt halt for a fourth time, after the ceiling began leaking with toilet water.
Judge Jeremy Carey, sitting at Maidstone Crown Court, was about to embark on a rape trial, when a concerned barrister and juror revealed they were being dripped on.
According to news website Kent Online, Judge Carey addressed those gathered in court on Monday, saying:
I have had to move courts yet again. My court is out of action. The facilities in the barristers’ area are not functioning as they should, and so we have dripping from the roof.
Concerned that the drips contained more than just water, he continued:
Clearly, there will have to be industrial cleaning in that area. I am not convinced it has stopped dripping. It has to be decontaminated.
Fortunately, Judge Carey was able to switch courtrooms for the day. However, with facilities already at a stretch, the trial has been delayed while the leaky roof is fixed.
But at this point Judge Carey would be forgiven if he thought he was trapped in his very own judicial Groundhog Day.
Astonishingly, this — according to Kent Online — is now the fourth time a trial that Judge Carey has been presiding over has been halted due to a leaky roof.
Back in August 2014, another trial had to be stopped after a juror complained that they were being dripped on. Speaking at the time, Judge Carey said:
When you read about the cost of public services you never hear about the court service. Nobody cares about the court service.
I must be careful. There is a limited amount of people who care about the court service. This building is not being properly maintained. It is false economy to cut expenditure because we lose time. We lose court time which costs hundreds of pounds an hour.
Just last month, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) big-wigs confirmed that 89 out of 91 courts earmarked for closure would be getting the chop. Citing original proposals released back in 2015, the MoJ confirmed that 64 sites would close permanently, and a further 22 will switch to alternative buildings.