Liverpool magistrate protests at inefficiencies

A STIPENDIARY magistrate sitting at Liverpools City Magistrates Court halted proceedings to vent his frustration at the courts inefficiency.

This court does not provide an efficient public service, stormed Paul Firth. The time has come for someone to make a public stand.

His outburst was provoked by a string of administrative failures at the courthouse, which have caused cases to be delayed.

The problems have included court papers not being ready, and prisoners not being brought up to the court when called.

RM Broudie & Co solicitor Robert Broudie backed Firth in court, saying: On behalf of all the advocates in court, I can indicate that we are entirely sympathetic with and understand what you say.

Firth later put down his public outburst to the fact that his attempts to deal with the issue privately had got him nowhere. He said that the courts inefficiencies could no longer be masked by magistrates.

But chairman of the bench Ron Cole defended the administration of justice in the city, saying: Im all too aware of Mr Firths views on administration, but the problems should be seen against the significant improvements that have already been made in recent years.

Cole added that diminishing budgets and fewer staff had put pressure on the courts, so that there was now a need for long-term strategy to improve administration, rather than for a short-term fix.