"Incredible" that government wont provide for people who must attend court, judge says (From Redditch Advertiser)
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"Incredible" that government wont provide for people who must attend court, judge says
1:30pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A SENIOR judge in Worcester has criticised the government for failing to provide for people who must attend court, but struggle to afford the journey.
Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC told Worcester Crown Court he found it "incredible" that people on limited incomes were expected to fund their own travel to and from court each day.
The comments came during the trial of pensioner Derrick Wicks, who was later cleared by a unanimous jury of inciting two girls to engage in sexual activity.
The court heard that Mr Wicks, who is aged 76, and his 90-year-old wife, drew just £150 a week in pension - and that the round trip between his home in Redditch and the court had almost wiped that out.
The judge said the struggle to pay for transport was a common occurrence for defendants - particularly those involved in trials, who had not yet been proved guilty and have to make repeated trips to and from the court.
He urged the Secretary of State for Justice to examine the issue.
"This is a matter that Christopher Grayling should look at, perhaps," he said.
"I find it incredible there is not some provision or funding for people in this situation."
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