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Disabled Juror Forced To Quit Case At Maidstone Crown Court Because All Lifts Were Broken

October 27, 2020

A disabled juror was forced to quit her duty because all five lifts in a Kent court were broken.

The woman was discharged from a robbery trial after spending a fortnight listening to the case because she could not get back in.

It left just 10 out of 12 jurors because another was discharged earlier.

The case finished the next day with unanimous guilty verdicts against two men at Maidstone Crown Court, the MirrorOnline reports.

Alison Kerry, of disability equality charity Scope, said: “Disabled people shouldn’t be barred from doing their civic duty because our courtrooms aren’t accessible.

“One in five of us is disabled and juries should reflect that.

“It’s unacceptable five lifts could be out of order at once.

“This could also prevent disabled clerks and solicitors from being able to work.

Courts and the government should do much more to make sure our justice system is accessible.”

Negligence solicitors Bolt, Burdon and Kemp found just two per cent of courtrooms in England are fully accessible.

Its research in August found wheelchair access and availability of working lifts were the main issues.

Just 15 per cent of courthouses in England are fully accessible for wheelchair users.

Of British 444 courts tested, only eight met all 11 of their accessibility criteria.

These include disable parking, accessible toilets, hearing loops and welcome assistance dogs.

The law firm concluded: “We see first-hand the difficulties our clients go through before attending court, whether they’ve recently suffered major trauma, or have come to terms with historic issues for which they’ve had to summon a lot of courage to seek redress.

“Being made uncomfortable in court because the buildings aren’t equipped to handle their disability or other issues adds an extra sense of discomfort, making an already distressing time even more difficult.”

A courts spokesman said: “Two of the lifts were repaired within a matter of hours and work is under way to fix the remaining three.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 27, 2020 2:41 am

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.


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