In May 2016, 2 young men went out with their friends for a night out. They had a pleasant evening, a few drinks (not too many) and were on their way home when they came across a man who had had too many.
An investigation started: both young men were interviewed and said that they had been attacked and were defending themsleves.
Neither of the young men had been in any trouble before and neither had a lawyer during the investigation. They didn't think they would need one.
They were charged with S18 GBH with intent and sent to the Crown Court. A trial was fixed for September 2017.
And so we were ready for trial in September.
Case adjourned. Witnesses, barristers and the defendants and their families all told to come back another day. In November.
Oh dear. The principal prosecution witness is abroad. He cannot return. Not yet, anyway.
Case adjourned. Witnesses, barristers and the defendants to to come back another day. In March 2018.
The night before the trial...
There are no Judges available to hear the case.
In order not to waste time, it will not be listed, but a new trial date will be found.
So why am I telling you this story now?
In fact it isn't going to happen at all.
Because the prosecution have dropped the case.
Because, it seems, their witnesses were fed up and refused to come to Court again.
Because the system let them down, or ground them down.
The young man I represented is, of course relieved and thankful; but he has had this nightmare invoking for 2 years.
What might be think about all of this? Has he had Justice of any sort?
It really is.
Why were there no Judges, twice? Because the MOJ won't fund them.