Murder trial of teens delayed after no judge could be found

The Old Bailey  (PA Archive)
The Old Bailey (PA Archive)

An Old Bailey murder trial involving three teenage defendants has been delayed after no judge in London could be found to oversee it.

The three-week trial was due to start this month but has now been delayed until later in the year.

At a hearing last week, prosecutor Ed Brown KC lamented a “sorry state of affairs” in the justice system, where record numbers of criminal trials are being delayed due to a lack of judges. Latest Ministry of Justice figures show 150 crown court trials could not take place in 2022 because there was no judge available.

In the murder case, some of the young defendants are in custody and the trial date had been set in November last year.

“We are very disappointed there are not enough judges in London to try this very serious case,” said Mr Brown who also highlighted a trend of defendants not being brought to the Old Bailey each day, causing lost court time and trials to over-run.

Defence barrister Alan Kent, representing one of the accused, said the delay was “hugely disappointing”. Last week, it was announced that 163 new Recorders — part-time judges — had been appointed.