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Eight accused walk free from Medway court after prosecution fails to show

There will be a close eye paid to the prosecution bench at Medway Magistrates' Court this morning.

Medway Magistrates Court
Medway Magistrates Court

Last Monday the failure of a representative from the Crown Prosecution Service led to eight criminal cases being dismissed.

When no prosecutor turned up at 10am there were hasty calls from court staff to find out what was happening. Thirty minutes later three solicitors acted together for their clients to get the cases dismissed from courtroom two.

The bench were told at least three phone calls had been made to the CPS to find out what was happening, but had at that time not heard back.

Mr Hayward said: "If no one is here to prosecute, I would urge you to dismiss the cases."

Other solicitors also followed suit and got their cases adjourned, and a defendant who was unrepresented was informed of the situation and asked for his case to be dismissed too.

At about 11am a prosecutor did turn up and was informed of all the eight cases which were dismissed. However, the CPS has said it will be reinstating five of the eight dismissed cases.

Claire Moulsher, senior district crown prosecutor at CPS South East, said: "Most of the cases were due for a first hearing and would, in any event, have been subject to review by the prosecutor to determine whether a prosecution was appropriate in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"We have decided that it is appropriate to reinstate five out of the eight cases. We will be speaking to HMCTS (HM Courts & Tribunals Service) representatives to discuss the wider issues and how this situation could be prevented in the future."

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