VIOLENT criminals are being spared jail as the backlog of court cases hits a record high, it was revealed yesterday.
The number of serious offenders locked up fell by a fifth over the past year as more magistrates and judges let them walk free.
One paedo dodged a jail term after a five-year court delay
More than half of the courts in England and Wales were closed between 2010 and 2019, leading to a record backlog of 56,000 indictable offences.
A paedophile who used indecent images of children online while posing as a teen girl avoided jail owing to a three-year delay in his case.
The judge said: “If it had been before the court 18 months ago, or two years ago, you would have been locked up.”
Another paedo dodged a jail term after a five-year delay. And three men involved in a “brutal” assault walked free after waiting two years to go to court.
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy said: “Justice delayed is justice denied. Victims of paedophilia, rape, assault and hate crimes are being let down by justice system delays this government has helped create.”
Labour wants the rapid roll-out of Nightingale courts and juries to be cut from 12 members to seven to allow more trials.
Mr Lammy said: “We need to rebuild the justice system to make the UK the fairest country in the world.”
Labour’s David Lammy has called for the rapid roll-out of Nightingale courts and juries to be cut from 12 members to seven to allow more trialsCredit: David Lammy Twitter
The Ministry of Justice said “more serious offenders go to prison — and for longer — under this gover-nment than ever before”.
A spokesman added: “Outstanding magistrates’ cases have fallen by 50,000 since last summer, cases dealt with in the crown court reached pre-Covid levels in December and we have a record number of rooms open for jury trials.
“And just this week we announced more Nightingale courts to go alongside our greater use of technology, extra staff and hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment.”
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