Judge attacks CPS 'shambles'

An Old Bailey judge today spoke out about the "shambles" in the criminal justice system caused by "failures by the Crown Prosecution Service".

Judge Jeremy Roberts made the remarks after blunders meant he had to put back the trial of a man accused of a violent offence 18 months ago.

He apologised to the defendant and said it was not the first case in which mistakes by the CPS had caused problems.

The judge ordered a transcript of the hearing to be sent to the Lord Chancellor and the Director of Public Prosecutions "so that they can see what has been happening in the courts".

He said: "It just simply looks awful to members of the public who come to these courts expecting to see justice done and cases heard properly, and then they see the kind of shambles which has occurred in this case and others."

The judge told the defendant, who is on bail: "I am sorry your case can't go ahead today. It is not a good advertisement for our criminal justice system that this has happened."

The case was put back because of problems with witnesses and failure to disclose evidence to the defence.

Judge Roberts said: "I am sure this won't be the last case where we have similar problems."