There are reports of a significant increase in failed criminal trials because of record numbers of witnesses and victims pulling out.

It is the inevitable result of severe delays to criminal trials because of the mounting backlog, which has now reached more than 54,000 cases.

According to Dame Vera Baird QC, the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales, the number of victims withdrawing from trials has more than doubled since 2015.

Law Society president David Greene said the reports were “extremely concerning but, unfortunately hardly surprising”.

He commented: “Justice is being delayed for victims, witnesses and defendants, who have proceedings hanging over them for months, if not years, ...

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