Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court floods for third time in a month

Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court

Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

Cells at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court have flooded for the third time in a month, leaving staff scrambling to move prisoners out to other courts.

One worker blamed a pump failure for the problem. “The cells are flooded so people who normally arrive in custody will be diverted to other courts,” he told the Gazette.

But the rest of the court was functioning normally, he added.

A solicitor who practises regularly at the court said: “I wasn’t there today but I heard from another solicitor it was flooded. I was there on a previous occasion in March when the pump failed which led to flooding and a sewage backlog in the cells, which are located in the basement. So all the custody cases had to be transferred.

“I arrived at the court [that time] and had to wait outside for an hour and a half. All the defendants, witnesses and lawyers were all milling around outside the court before being dispersed to other courts and there was a backlog of Serco vans bringing the defendants to court.”

An HM Courts & Tribunals Service spokesperson said: “Following a flood in the cells at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court this morning custody cases are being transferred to alternative courts in the London area. The court remains open to deal with non-custody cases. Work is ongoing to get the cells back into use as quickly as possible.”