Child abuse victim waited over 1,000 days for justice as her trial was delayed twice
The case was reported to the police in March 2019 but the trial was called off twice at the last minute. Last month the pedophile was convicted of two counts of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl
Image: Alamy Photo)
A victim of child abuse waited over 1,000 days to see her abuser convicted.
The case was reported to the police in March 2019 but the trial was called off twice at the last minute.
Last month, the pedophile was finally convicted of two counts of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in London and jailed for four years.
This is just one example of how victims of crime are facing record waits for justice.
The abused girl’s father told The Sunday People: ‘We can see why girls and women drop sexual abuse cases, the process is flawed.
Last year, the average time from offense to conviction was 708 days, nearly two years, nearly double what it was in 2014.
But adult rape victims must wait 1,500 days or more than four years, according to the lawyers’ group Criminal Bar Association.
Barely half of rape cases are brought to court compared to seven years ago and they take twice as long from indictment to conclusion.
Although Covid has caused a huge backlog in the justice system, lawyers blame a decade of government cuts to police, CPS and court staff for most of the problems and say criminal lawyers are quitting en masse.
The delays mean some defendants are being released – such as a man accused of raping two children whose case had dragged on for nearly six years. He was cleared in September when an accuser withdrew from the trial. She told authorities, “I felt betrayed.
“The investigation has been going on for a very long time. I feel broken.
Her lawyer said: “If we had had a trial within two years, I believe she would have supported the prosecution. We need lawyers to prosecute and defend and courtroom space. We have neither.
Jo Sidhu QC, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said: “It is the victims of crime who are paying the price for a decade of cuts. They are traumatized by the initial offense and then find themselves with punitive expectations before hope for closure.
Shadow Victims Minister Anna McMorrin said: ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’
Labor says there are 48 rape cases waiting to be heard in Crown Courts for more than two years, triple the number in 2020.
Financial crimes come second only to sexual crimes pending trial.
Solicitor Sundeep Soor, from Nottingham, was dismayed when told a money laundering trial at Leeds Crown Court would have to wait until 2025.
He said: ‘My client was 21 at the time of the alleged offense in 2016. He would then be 30 and his life has been put on hold. Even before Covid there was an 18 month wait. It started with the cuts.
The Department of Justice said: “We are revising our response to rape and increasing funding for support services. We are also recruiting 20,000 police officers, introducing new justice scorecards and increasing court capacity so victims get justice faster.