Woman must wait 14 months for trial as barrister action continues

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

An Ipswich Crown Court trial was adjourned until July 2023 - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The trial of an Ipswich woman accused of assaulting an emergency worker has been adjourned until July next year as barrister strike action continues. 

The 'no returns' policy, which was adopted by barristers on April 11, is in response to the recommendations of a government-commissioned criminal legal aid review. 

The action means that barristers will now not cover for colleagues on cases that have been ‘returned’ because the courts may have overrun or the case was rescheduled at the last minute and caused a diary clash. 

In February, criminal barristers voted overwhelmingly in favour of adopting the policy should the government refuse to increase criminal legal aid advocacy fees by 25%. 

Due to the policy, there was no defence barrister available for the assaulting an emergency worker trial of Simona Kairaityta, 27, of Geneva Road, Ipswich, which was due to start at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday. 

Deputy Circuit Judge David Pugh said: "Unfortunately, because there is no defence advocate, the trial cannot proceed. 

"As a result of the recent work rules defence barristers are following at the moment, the case cannot be returned to any other barrister.

"Enquiries have been made and your instructing barrister is next available on July 4, 2023." 

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Judge Pugh granted Kairaityta unconditional bail ahead of her trial next year.