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Undue delay, Glasgow JP Court, August 2016

Our client was being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. He was not served with a complaint due to an error on the part of the police. When the case called in court, he was therefore not present. The Crown asked the court to grant a warrant for our client’s arrest and this was duly granted by the court.

What then happened was that there was a significant delay in the warrant being sent to the police for ‘execution’ (i.e. the police attend upon the person named in the warrant and arrest him). The Crown thereafter decided not to execute the warrant at all. Instead the decision was (eventually) taken to invite our client to attend court of his own accord. After a further delay, the letter was finally sent to our client.

In any case where a warrant is granted, the date on which it is granted is deemed to be the start of proceedings. On this occasion the warrant was granted within the statutory timebar. There is, however, one significant caveat to that rule. The warrant must be executed without undue delay. In this case the court accepted our submission that the delay between granting the warrant and finally bringing our client to court was undue. The complaint was, therefore, dismissed.