25 August 2014
Enquiry after Burton solicitor slams court staff issue
A full enquiry is to be launched into why an interpreter didn't show for a Hungarian defendant in court, after a complaint by his solicitor.
Karoly Gaudi has been turned away from Burton Magistrates' Court for the second time with the problem blamed on administration staffing issues.
His solicitor, Michael Taylor, said it was 'discourteous' that no one had told him that an interpreter had not been booked and asked for an adjournment as the case could not go ahead.
Gaudi, 46, of Waterloo Street, Burton, appeared at court on Friday, expecting to enter a plea after he allegedly assaulted Eva Osvathne Siramko and Timka Horvath on July 30.
Mr Taylor said: "(My client) was interviewed at the police station on July 30. An interpreter was there and he appeared at this court last Friday (August 15) and the police had agreed with an interpreter to attend. However, by Friday they couldn't attend and so I was unable to take the matter any further and expected it to be adjourned.
"On Wednesday, an interpreter was booked for this morning. But the interpreter has told the clerk that they had to go to Peterborough Crown Court this morning and wouldn't be here until 11.30 or noon.
"This court works with speed and usually pleas are taken at the first appearance and requests for adjournments are looked at with scepticism.
"No one at Stafford Magistrates' Court (which books interpreters) told me there was a problem because I wouldn't be here if I knew. I have other things to do. We also don't know how long the interpreter would be required at Peterborough for.
"I am a bit aggrieved at the way this has been dealt with and I ask for a week adjournment because I cannot make progress with this case.
"I feel I have been dealt with some discourtesy by the admin staff. This is the second time he has attended and the second time there is no interpreter.
"The admin staff knew we needed an interpreter on August 15 but steps weren't taken to book one."
The clerk at Burton told magistrates: "This matter appeared last Friday and the officers in Stafford became aware of the requirement (for an interpreter) on Monday and it is due to staffing issues that an interpreter was not booked until Wednesday.
"I will ask for a full enquiry to be made."
The case was adjourned for a week but on the understanding an interpreter was booked immediately.