Custody time limit to be increased to ease court case backlog in England

Defendants awaiting trial face longer stints in prison under measures to tackle Covid buildup

Unconvicted defendants awaiting trial in prison face longer stints behind bars as ministers plan to increase custody time limits to ease the pressure of a rising backlog of court cases, the Guardian understands.

The coronavirus lockdown temporarily halted jury trials in March and despite the government creating “nightingale” courts, there are more than 500,000 cases yet to be heard in magistrates and crown courts, an increase of about 100,000 on pre-pandemic levels.

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