Coronavirus lockdown: Defendants sent home from Leeds Magistrates' Court

Defendants who have turned up to have their cases heard at Leeds Magistrates' Court this morning are being sent home.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 12:11 pm

Cases involving defendants who are not in custody are being adjourned to dates yet to be fixed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Custody cases for defendants on remand were this morning (March 24) still being dealt with in court one.

Court staff turned defendants answering bail away at the front door to the courts and told them they would be notified of the adjournment date.

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Leeds Magistrates' Court

District judge Charlotte Holland - sitting in court four at Leeds Magistrates' Court - said defendants waiting outside court for their cases to be heard should be sent home.

She said: "I think we are adjourning the cases off. Justice will follow.

"In the exceptional circumstances we can't deal with them today. We simply don't know how things are going to turn out."

A HM Courts and Tribunal Service note posted on the court's doors, which is headed 'Magistrates' Court changes 24/3/20', reads: "This court will only hear urgent cases today (Overnight.custody and prisoner production.).

"Parties involved in all other hearings should not attend court unless contacted directly.

"You'll be notified of new hearing date. Where appropriate, existing bail conditions will apply."