Outside of Wimbledon Magistrates Court

Wimbledon Magistrates Court lists 462 cases in one day

More than 450 cases were listed to be heard today at Wimbledon Magistrates Court, a figure much higher than is normally seen.

A total of 462 cases were listed to be heard in Court 6 at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on the day, with allegations dating as far back as 1994, according to Evening Standard reporter Tristan Kirk.

The cases listed include a huge variety of crimes, including the case of a man who was accused of stealing a £14 drill bit and a “drive off” from a petrol station in Neasden, both in 1999, with 62 of the cases listed as “application to withdraw”.

Also listed is an unsolved robbery of £300 from a train passenger in 1997 and a sexual assault case from 2011.

Stuart Nolan, Chair of the Criminal Law committee at the Law Society, said: “It is unusual to see so many cases in one day.”

Nolan said: “‘The criminal justice system is in crisis. They can’t necessarily get barristers, prosecutors, there’s a shortage of defences, there’s backlogs because of Covid, because of the strikes, because of lack of personnel, lack of funding. 

“So all of those factors could play into why you have this extraordinary case so many cases, one court with such variation.

“If some of those are allegations of assault, they can take a long time and the idea of doing that many cases in one day is extraordinary because it can take considerable time to give people their legal rights and make sure that justice is done and that justice is seen to be done as they say.”

He added that it is possible that rather than there being 462 individual cases, there are defendants with multiple charges, but that the spread of time and nature of the offences suggests that it is either in error or because of the shortages due to the problems within the criminal justice system. 

A spokesperson from Wimbledon Magistrates Court press office said: “The cases that are listed are old matters that have had warrants against them and the police have requested that those warrants be withdrawn.

“There’s not any hearings happening, it’s just a paper work exercise, all the cases have already been dealt with and it’s just these outstanding warrants that the police want to withdraw.”

Featured Image Credit: Duncan Cumming via Flickr under CC BY-NC 2.0 licence

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