Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Thomas of Gresford Lord Thomas of Gresford Liberal Democrat 4:45 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, I recall the case very well. The prosecution case lasted for 18 months. The court sat every day from eight o'clock in the morning until one o'clock in the afternoon when the learned judge adjourned for lunch. At the end of the 18-month period, he was not in a position to give a ruling that the prosecution had established a case. What was wrong in the specific instance to which the noble and learned Lord referred was that the prosecution tried to take a huge bite out of a very large case and found that it could not sustain the basic job of a prosecution; that is, to explain the case in simple terms. That was a good example of a fraud trial running away with itself and it is the kind of thing of which I am sure the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General would not approve.