CPS fail to serve evidence for “financial reasons”.

In a remarkable case before Blackfriars Crown Court (R. v. Andrews) his honour Judge Peter Murphy refused to allow the CPS to admit evidence which was to be served on the defence only on the second day of a trial of three defendants accused of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. The result of that ruling was that no further evidence was offered by the crown and the case against all three defendants was dismissed.

The particularly disturbing aspect of this case was not  the attempt to serve evidence so late, but an apparent admission by the Crown that the failure to serve it before trial  was in part due to cost considerations in respect of the evidence having to be considered by counsel. The judge quite rightly expressed the view that it is quite wrong for financial considerations to stand in the way of the Crown complying with its disclosure obligations.