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Burnley prisoners to give evidence by video link
2:00pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in News
A VIDEO link has been installed at Burnley Crown Court to save the cost of bringing prisoners to the Hammerton Street building.
Currently only Preston Crown Court has a two-way link in Lancashire, where the ‘dock’ is housed in rooms at prisons such as Preston or Kirkham.
But adaptations have now been made to Court One at the Burnley courthouse to give an alternative venue for court listings officers.
The link is most often used for hearings, where defendants remain in custody during longer-running cases and barristers have consulted with their clients beforehand. A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service said: “The introduction of a prison video link to Burnley Crown Court will save taxpayers’ money.
“It will avoid unnecessary appearances in court for defendants and save vital time and costs of transporting prisoners to and from court.”
The move is not the first time that such technology has been used in East Lancashire’s courts.
Similar video facilities have been set up at Accrington Magistrates Court, which deal with cases across the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale and Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley petty sessional areas.
The system was first introduced in 1999, by then-Home Secretary and Blackburn MP Jack Straw , after successful trials.
Trials and sentencing hearings still only take place when defendants are physically present in the courtroom.