AN alleged victim of a sex attack must wait an extra seven months to have her day at York Crown Court because of a national shortage of barristers.

The defendant in the case must also wait seven months before he can bid to clear his name.

Both were scheduled to appear in a trial at York Crown Court today (Tuesday, January 31).

But the prosecution barrister allocated to the case sent a message to the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, saying that he was in a different trial that was taking longer than expected and therefore couldn’t start the York trial.

The CPS told the court it was unable to find another barrister who was able to take the trial.

“This is a problem that is happening nationally,” the judge told York Crown Court. “So many people have given up doing this kind of work.”

Postponing the trial until late summer in York, he told the defendant: “I am sorry about this.”

Last year, criminal barristers carried out months of industrial action, causing many cases to be delayed, saying their payment through legal aid for defence work was too low.

They warned that unless rates were substantially increased, the number of barristers doing criminal work would drop and young barristers coming into the profession would choose other areas of law.