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Riley murder: Defence criticised for causing ‘unnecessary suffering’
6:00am Thursday 20th February 2014 in Keighley
Sentencing judge Mr Justice Coulson criticised defence experts for delays in court proceedings that caused “unnecessary pain and suffering” to Riley Turner’s family.
The judge said Anwar Rosser’s trial had been originally due to take place in July last year, but it was adjourned on three separate occasions.
He said the delays were due to the failure of defence experts to comply with directions of the court – though the defendant’s legal team was in no way responsible and found the delays equally troubling.
Mr Justice Coulson said that on each occasion the defence had failed to comply with the timetable, and then sought an adjournment at the last moment. Each time the reason for the delays was the failure by the defence to produce reports in accordance with the judge’s directions.
He added: “It is becoming much too common for major criminal trials to be adjourned because experts (usually those instructed by the defendants) require more time to complete their investigations and produce their reports.
“Experts need to understand that the court-ordered timetable must be complied with, and if they cannot comply with it, they should say so at the outset. I am left with the nagging suspicion that experts take on too much work, and do not provide clear information as to what they can and cannot do within the relevant timescale.
“I consider that, in this case, the delays have caused real and unacceptable suffering to Riley Turner’s family.
“If victims are to be brought even further into the centre of the criminal justice system, then it must be a fundamental requirement that experts comply with court timetables, thereby avoiding the delays and adjournments that have disfigured this case.”
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