Court cases have been thrown into disarray by an unannounced strike by prison officers. One such case was a triple murder trial at Maidstone Crown Court were two out of the three defendants failed to be produced by the Prison Service.
Judge Mr Justice Sweeney had to apologise to jurors who had turned up expecting to hear further evidence about the case involving the deaths of three generations of one family in an arson attack on their home in Chatham, Kent. He explained:
– Judge Mr Justice Sweeney
The reason is, because of industrial action, two male defendants have not been released by the Prison Service to the transport service to bring them here.
I have ordered that they be brought here. The transport is standing by to bring them here. The trick is getting them out of the prison to the transport."