Editor’s comment: I can’t believe Sanchez Edwards’ sentencing has been delayed AGAIN

Sanchez Edwards. Picture credit: Met Police.

Sanchez Edwards. Picture credit: Met Police. - Credit: Archant

How much public money has been wasted adjourning the sentencing of Sanchez Edwards six times?

The victim suffered horrendous bruising in the attack carried out by Edwards

The victim suffered horrendous bruising in the attack carried out by Edwards - Credit: police

There are court staff, probation workers, lawyers and judges to pay, and court rooms that must be heated and lit every time this case is hauled in and kicked out again. There are police being dragged away from their ever-increasing duties in Hackney to Wood Green Crown Court and back again for no reason. There are families piled up in the waiting room outside waiting for other cases to be heard. There is an elderly widow who waits for news of her attacker’s sentencing and receives only bureaucracy.

If it was possible for a Hertfordshire hospital to notify the court without a formal hearing that a bed had become available, which is what happened on Friday, why had the case been listed five times previously without such an assurance? And if the case had been reserved for sentencing by a particular judge, why was it then listed for a date when she was on holiday?

It is straight out of Kafka’s chilling legal farce The Trial.

Courts deal with a lot of this kind of thing – sometimes totally unavoidable due to the sheer numbers of people involved, but often down to what appears to be incompetence or a lack of oversight. The layers of bureaucracy that mean this case has been in and out more times than the hokey cokey also mean there is no one obvious to blame. The court staff we deal with always come across as helpful and hardworking, and I imagine these people could do without seven times the paperwork to complete, too.

There are both human and financial costs every time this case is pushed back. For such public proceedings, Sanchez Edwards’ journey through the courts feels remarkably unaccountable.