A joint trial of five defendants accused of serious fraud offences has today been stayed due to the recent cuts to legal aid. The trial, R v Crawley and others, codenamed Operation Cotton, has previously been adjourned on several occasions due to the defendants being unable to find any barristers to represent them.
Due to the seriousness and complexity of this case, it is classified as a Very High Cost Case, more commonly referred to as a VHCC. In this particular case the volume of papers amounts to some 46,030 pages. There are in addition 194 excel spreadsheets with a combined total of 864,200 lines of entry and the Case Summary covers 55 pages alone. Continue reading