View Full Version : Case delays

19-Mar-15, 16:52
Slow processed indictments prove a trial for local court

WICK Sheriff Andrew Berry has criticised what he described as "the wholly inappropriate progress" of indictment cases.
The sheriff and conferred with defence solicitor, George Mathers, who appeared for the defence this week, in a case where it took almost a year for the productions to be lodged.
Originally, local fiscals dealt with the processing of cases under what is legally termed solemn procedure, reserved for very serious crimes. But now, the charges are framed by Crown Office, centrally from Dundee and solicitors and fiscals are unable to consult until late in the day.
Mr Mathers told the sheriff that the centralised system appeared to be general, certainly in the north and north-east courts at which he appeared and it was "much less efficient" than the previous set-up.
The sheriff stressed that there was no criticism of those concerned at local court level.
Mr Mathers said that apart from the time-consuming administrative delay, accused persons had their cases hanging over them for longer than was necessary.
Sheriff Berry expressed his thanks to Mr Mathers for his first-hand information and added: "It is very helpful to me to have the fullest-possible picture of where we are."