Blackfriars Crown Court docket flogged for a reported £65 million in 2019

Netflix’s hit drama Prime Boy — picture credit score: Netflix/Prime Boy

A lately offered crown courtroom has been employed as a set to movie authorized scenes for Netflix’s Prime Boy, it has emerged, all whereas the legal case backlog continues to mount amid the coronavirus pandemic.

London’s Blackfriars Crown Court docket was shuttered and offered to non-public builders for a reported £65 million in 2019. Because it awaits redevelopment into swish new workplace area full with a ‘sky forest’, it has been set free for filming and pictures for the previous 9 months. The manufacturing firm behind hit Netflix drama Prime Boy used the location to movie fictional courtroom scenes final week, in accordance with media studies.

It’s understood the 28-year-old purpose-built courthouse has barely been touched because it was rehoused in one other constructing, a lot to the chagrin of legal barristers. “It’s not just like the legal justice system might use seven functioning courtrooms spherical about now,” wrote Sarah Allen, a legal barrister, on Twitter, whereas Nick Barraclough of 2 Bedford Row stated the area “could be good for socially-distanced trials now”.

Her Majesty’s Court docket & Tribunal Service has stated it enquired about utilizing the constructing for its authentic goal, however decided that it could solely be out there for a brief time period and didn’t signify worth for cash.

The most recent authorities figures present the legal case backlog hit 457,518 in November. The variety of ongoing instances in crown courts was 44% larger in December in contrast with February final 12 months, whereas some instances are being scheduled so far as 2022.

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The Ministry of Justice has additionally put cash in direction of opening emergency ‘Nightingale courts’ to take care of the rising backlog of instances. To date solely two have opened, with the primary, Prospero Home, positioned lower than half a mile away from Blackfriars Crown Court docket, and costing a number of hundred hundreds of kilos to set-up.

The Bar Council final week known as for a money injection of an additional £55 million to enhance the courtroom system, and to create 42 extra Nightingale courts so hearings might progress safely and to assist clear the backlog.

Talking to The Solar, Derek Sweeting QC, chair of the Bar Council, stated: “In mild of mounting backlogs in courts throughout the nation, made worse by the COVID-19 disaster, it’s absurd to not be utilizing each purpose-built courtroom to listen to instances. Extra courtroom area is crucial to bringing down the backlog.

He continued:

“The Bar Council lately known as on the Treasury to supply 42 extra Nightingale courts to make sure that hearings can progress safely by means of the pandemic. Permitting actual courts for use as a movie set, is a missed alternative which is able to dismay victims of crime going through longs delays whereas they watch for a listening to.”

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