ADJOURNMENT

A magistrates’ court had been entitled to adjourn a case when key prosecution witnesses had failed to attend the appellant’s trial for two offences under the Malicious Communications Act 1988; the magistrates had had the leading authority well in mind and the decision was not an encouragement of an adjournment culture.

A district judge had not erred in rejecting the application of the Extradition Act 2003 s.12A bar to extradition, since even if a decision to try had not been taken, there were no reasonable grounds for believing that the requested person’s absence was not the sole reason for it.

[2018] EWHC 229 (Admin) [2018] EWHC 229 (Admin)

Mistake of material fact leading to unfairness could be available as a ground of judicial review in respect of the determination of applications to adjourn trials in magistrates’ courts.

A magistrates’ court had been unreasonable in refusing to adjourn a sexual assault trial after five members of the complainant’s family were killed in an accident the night before the trial. The circumstances were exceptional and the court reiterated the careful approach to adjournment applications set out in Crown Prosecution Service v Picton [2006] EWHC 1108 (Admin).

A district judge had been entitled to refuse to adjourn a part-heard trial on the basis of evidence from a GP which suggested that the defendants were suffering from stress, depression and insomnia following the suicide of a co-defendant. It had not been unreasonable or incorrect to conclude that the medical evidence did not demonstrate unfitness to stand trial.