12 May 2013
North Northampton MP anger over court interpreter service
An MP says he is going to raise the issue of court interpreters in the House of Commons - after one failed to turn up for a hearing relating to the deaths of four members of a family.
Anxiang Du, 54, is accused of killing four members of the Ding family in Northampton in 2011.
No Mandarin interpreter was available, and Nottingham Crown Court heard it was "not worthwhile" for one to turn up.
Northampton North MP Michael Ellis said it was a "disgrace".
"I am flabbergasted," said Mr Ellis. "If these reports are remotely correct it is a disgrace.
"We can not have a situation where any private company is able to cause a court hearing to be abandoned."
A Capita spokeswoman said the firm at no time refused to provide an interpreter "on cost or any other grounds".
Anxiang Du, a Chinese businessman from Coventry, had been due to face a plea and case management hearing at the court on Friday.
He is accused of killing Jifeng Ding, his wife Ge Chui and their two children, Alice, 12, and 18-year-old Xing at their home in Wootton in Northampton on 1 May 2011.
The plea and case management hearing has now been provisionally set for 19 July.
Mr Justice Flaux told the court he was not sure which company was at fault but that his clerk had been told it was "not worthwhile" for an interpreter to turn up for the hearing because they would "not make enough money".
'Communicated to court'
The judge said: "To say I'm annoyed is an understatement."
He said he had asked for an interpreter at the hearing, scheduled for 14:00 BST.
He was told one would be sent for 14:30 but they did not turn up.
The Capita spokeswoman said: "After the original interpreter booked to attend the hearing was unable to attend, Capita Translation and Interpreting worked to secure a replacement.
"The replacement interpreter could not attend until 2.30pm and we communicated this, in good time, to the court."