HC Deb 17 June 1996 vol 279 cc331-2W
Sir Gerard Vaughan

To ask the Attorney-General what was the cost to public funds of the case involving Nick Rodwell and other defendants at Northampton crown court; and what assessment he has made of the desirability of a change in the practices of the Crown Prosecution Service in such cases. [32919]

The Attorney-General

The costs incurred by the prosecution in the case involving Mr. Rodwell and other defendants are estimated at £2,856.62. The costs to the Lord Chancellor's Department of the five-day Crown court trial are assessed at £10,390. That figure includes staff and administrative costs and judicial salaries but not an element for the cost to the legal aid fund. To date no payment has been made from either the legal aid fund or from central funds. Those costs will not be known until the final bills have been assessed.

The practice of the Crown Prosecution Service in deciding whether to prosecute such cases is to apply the existing law and the code for Crown prosecutors, which is issued under section 10 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.

The Crown Prosecution Service has recently issued revised guidelines to provide a consistent standard for the selection of charges for offences against the person, which gives further guidance to prosecutors in dealing with cases such as that against Mr. Rodwell. The prosecution of Mr. Rodwell reflected the proper application of those principles.