April 13, 2016
Telford man's rape trial postponed because of interpreter blunder
A rape trial in Shropshire has had to be postponed for five months – after a blundering agency sent the wrong interpreter.
Roberto Roa Vallejo, 33, of Claremont Mews, Wellington, Telford, was due to stand trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Monday.
He denies an offence of rape, which is alleged to have taken place on March 29 last year.
In earlier hearings, Vallejo, from the Dominican Republic, who speaks little English, had used an interpreter speaking Spanish in the Dominican dialect.
Court staff requested the same interpreter be used for the trial – but instead a basic Spanish interpreter was sent.
Ms Lynette McClement, prosecuting, said Vallejo could not understand what the interpreter was saying.
After hearing there was no guarantee a replacement interpreter could be in place for Tuesday, Judge Peter Barrie opted to adjourn the trial to the next available date, which is September 19.
The cost per day for a crown court trial is believed to be between £2,000 and £3,000 to the taxpayer.
“It is not the court’s fault, but it is deeply regrettable,” Judge Barrie said.
Vallejo was bailed until the new date.