Judge criticises court video link system

Judge Rupert Overbury has criticised the prison to court video link system Picture: SARAH LUCY BRO

Judge Rupert Overbury has criticised the prison to court video link system Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Delays caused by “inadequacies” in a video link system intended to save public money by allowing prisoners to appear at court proceedings via video link from prison have been criticised by a judge.

Speaking after two plea hearings at Ipswich Crown Court were delayed because barristers representing defendants on remand in Chelmsford prison had to wait up to 30 minutes to get through to their clients, Judge Rupert Overbury said the delays were causing court proceedings to "grind to a halt."

He said the video link system, which was introduced to save public money, had "inadequacies" which were slowing down the justice system by making it difficult for solicitors, barristers and probation officers to contact defendants.

One of the cases delayed by his barrister and the court getting through to Chelmsford prison on Thursday ( Jan 23) was that of county lines drug dealer, Andre Rodrigues, 23, of Wood Lane, London.

He admitted possessing crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply and possessing cannabis on Christmas Day last year.

Judge Overbury adjourned sentence until the week commencing February 24 and warned Rodrigues that he was facing a prison sentence. He said the only question was how long that sentence would be.

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