6 August 2014
Absolute farce! £60-an-hour translator for English-speaking crooks
Three Romanian cash machine crooks insisted on £60-an-hour translator for their five-day trial, claiming they could not follow the proceedings without her.
Then when their interpreter failed to show up this week after the trial in May, they confessed: “We speak better English than she does.”
The translator had already cost the over-stretched courts at least £1,400.
Details emerged at Gloucester Crown Court when Flavius Novac, 23, Costel Procopkiuc, 23, and Gheorghe Bechian 35, appeared for sentencing.
Judge Jamie Tabor was about to delay the hearing when the men sent him a note. Judge Tabor revealed: “I’ve had a message from them to say ‘We don’t want an interpreter because we speak better English than she does’.”
Novac was jailed for 14 months, Procopkiuc received two years and nine months and Bechian, said to be the ringleader, was sentenced to three years.
Justice Minister Lord Faulks said: “The Government has taken steps to ensure the system provides value for taxpayers. Since we introduced a new interpreting contract in 2012 we have reduced costs by £27million.”