England: Judge criticises government’s handling of COVID-19 crisis

England: Judge criticises government's handling of COVID-19 crisis

The criminal justice system in the UK has handled the COVID-19 crisis worse than countries like South Korea and Spain where more resources are made available, a sitting judge has said.

Judge Keith Raynor, who sits in Woolwich Crown Court, sharply criticised the UK government’s handling of the pandemic for a second time this week after refusing to extend the custody time limit for an accused drug dealer.

The judge has publicly accused the government of subjecting him to “improper and undue influence” to grant the extension, which he refused because of his impatience with COVID-19 delays, The Times reports.

The defendant in question had been in custody for 321 days, 139 days beyond the custody time limit, and Judge Raynor complained that government measures to address COVID-19 delays had clearly not worked.

He added: “Judicial systems in other countries made timely preparations towards the start of the pandemic crisis and, for instance, the concrete measures deployed in South Korea and Spain show what can be done when systems are funded at an appropriate level.”

Share icon
Share this article: