2 August 2012
Anger after interpreter problems delay hearing of man accused of assaulting MP
The solicitor of a man accused of assaulting Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson has branded unfair a decision to lock up his client after a court interpreter failed to turn up.
Latvian national Ivans Karanovs (20) of Sandford, Westwood, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates Court on Monday (30 July) accused of assaulting Mr Jackson and damaging a bus shelter.
However, because a Latvian interpreter did not attend, Karanovs was unable to give instructions on his pleas and his address to his solicitor, Oliver Barrett, and District Judge Ken Sheaton remanded him into custody.
He returned to court the following day, and with an interpreter now available, he entered not guilty pleas to the common assault and criminal damage charges but pleaded guilty to a public order offence.
He was also granted bail, after police were able to verify the address he gave to the court.
The problems come less than two weeks after Judge Nic Madge, sitting at Peterborough Crown Court, ordered representatives from Applied Language Solutions (ALS) to appear in front of him after an interpreter did not appear for a case at the court.
At the time Judge Madge said: “I am afraid to say there have been serious problems in this court, and others, with the provision of interpreters by ALS.”
ALS signed a contract earlier this year to supply interpreters to all courts across the country.
Speaking after Tuesday’s hearing Mr Barratt said: “It does seem to be a problem with ALS that there are not enough people.
“My client is 20-years-old and has never been to prison, but has been in custody since Saturday, including a night in prison.
“It is frustrating because he would normally be able to go home. He was waiting all day on Monday, and again today.
“His family also turned up and don’t know what is happening as they cannot speak English.
“The deal with ALS was meant to save money, but it is costing money in wasted court time.”
Karanovs, who is accused of carrying out the offences during an incident in Broadway, Peterborough on Saturday, was granted bail ahead of his trial, which will take place on October 3.