A JUDGE has launched a withering attack on Wigan prosecutors while trying to deal with the case of two men accused of attacking a rugby league star.
Lee Jones and Terrance Riley appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday accused of attacking Sean Gleeson outside a bar in Wigan in March.
The former Warriors star had only played six games for his new side Hull KR when the incident occurred and he has since retired because of an eye injury sustained that night.
The two men were due to enter their pleas to the charges against them but the court heard that the prosecution counsel only received the prosecution paperwork last night and a DVD of crucial CCTV footage had not been brought to court.
Judge Stephen Everett was told that the men claim they acted in self-defence and were applying to have the case against them dismissed.
The hearing involving 22-year-old Jones, of Alder Avenue, Ashton-in-Makerfield and Riley, 25, of Harrison Drive, Haydock was adjourned until December 7.
Judge Everett insisted that the reviewing CPS lawyer must come to court on that occasion to assist the court and provide an explanation about delays in the case.
The judge, who has criticised Wigan Crown Prosecution Service on previous occasions, said that they had had plenty of time to get papers to the prosecuting barrister.
“This is par for the course for Bolton and Wigan CPS. It is a disgrace and simply not acceptable. They are a failing CPS, it is systematic.”
Judge Everett added, “It is nothing to do with the poor individuals on the ground. Unfortunately the CPS has lost a series of people, whoever’s decision that was has nothing to do with me.
“The fact if is you lose staff and then cannot cover the work then the court suddenly becomes inconvenienced.”
He added that Jones and Riley had had the case hanging over them since March which was unacceptable.
Jones is accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Gleeson and Riley is accused of assaulting him causing actual bodily harm.