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Pc Blakelock trial disrupted as lawyers walk out in legal aid protest

Actress Maxine Peake (centre) with protesters outside Westminster in London campaigning against legal aid cuts.

Actress Maxine Peake (centre) with protesters outside Westminster in London campaigning against legal aid cuts.

SCORES of cases were put off today after a walkout at courts across England and Wales.

Hundreds of lawyers marched on Westminster in protest at legal aid cuts as thousands of barristers staged a second walkout. Barristers have chosen not to attend proceedings at crown courts in Durham and Newcastle, while some defence solicitors stayed from magistrates’ courts in Sunderland.

Among the high-profile court cases disrupted was Nicky Jacobs, at the Old Bailey, who is standing trial for the murder of Sunderland Pc Keith Blakelock.

The case will resume on Monday.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is pressing ahead with fee cuts for barristers and solicitors as part of an attempt to slash £220 million from the legal aid budget by 2018/19.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said the final reforms reflect many of the changes barristers and solicitors have asked for and also highlighted measures announced last week to support lawyers through the period of transition.

 

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