Essex man skips bail after interpreter 'not
A man has gone missing after being released from court because an
interpreter could not be found.
Halwest Muradi, 24,
was charged with rape, attempted rape and sexual assault after a woman was
attacked in Colchester in November.
Mr Muradi was last
seen at Colchester Magistrates' Court on 2 August.
interpreter present, the prosecution could not continue within the 24-hour custody
limit and he was released.
Mr Muradi, who is of
Iranian descent, was first arrested on 31 July and appeared in court the same
He was given bail
conditions requiring him to remain at home but was arrested in a van in Kent
for breaching bail on 1 August and returned to Colchester Magistrates' Court
the next day.
The Crown Prosecution
Service (CPS) said: "In this case, an interpreter was required for the
case to proceed on Friday 2 August.
received by the court from the interpreting service was that an interpreter
would not be available and, despite strenuous efforts by the court to find
another interpreter, it was not possible to do so."
Essex Police said it
was searching for Mr Muradi, who is described as 5ft 7ins (1.7m) and of medium
build with short, dark hair.
Business secretary urged to set court
The business secretary has
been urged by a voluntary regulator for interpreters to take action over 'Wild
West' conditions that have resulted in courts struggling to find suitably
The National Register of
Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) raised concerns with Andrea Leadsom after
Bolton-based Debonair Languages
ceased operations last month. It was a subcontractor for Leeds-headquartered
thebigword, which was awarded a Ministry of Justice contract in 2016.
The NRPSI said
numerous registered interpreters are owed 'considerable' amounts of money.
Interpreters were 'turning to thebigword for information only to be turned away
and advised to take the issues with Debonair Languages' liquidators'.
The letter says:
'This is a horrifying case and the way interpreters have been treated is
nothing short of contemptible. Sadly, however, it only serves to punctuate the
ongoing poor treatment and unfair remuneration of qualified and experienced
public service interpreters more generally due to inadequately written
frameworks; the performance indicators set by the public services focusing on
price and supply at the expense of quality; and the need for privately-owned
language agencies to compete on price to win public sector language service
contracts and then squeeze the fees they offer to interpreters to preserve
their profit margins.'
'The result of this
situation is to lower engagement fees to unacceptably low levels and foster the
use of linguists who are not qualified interpreters, lesser qualified and even
unqualified interpreters, and bilinguals who are willing to work for reduced
The NRPSI alleges
that 'Wild West' conditions have led to public service language contracts
'being awarded on cost and supply considerations with no or inadequate quality
The NRPSI calls for
mandatory standards for privately-owned language agencies providing public
services 'to avoid future situations where other privately-owned agencies can
be assigned as sub-contractors without effective oversight by either the public
service or the principal agency'.