Victims of serious crime in the Northern Rivers are having to wait longer than ever to see justice done, due to growing delays at Lismore District Court.
New figures highlighted by NSW shadow attorney general Paul Lynch show that the number of days from an arrest to finalisation in the region’s only district court have increased by 17 per cent over the past five years.
It now takes an average of 476 days for a criminal matter to be completed in the court according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics figures, up from 407 days in 2014.
In a media statement released on Thursday, Mr Lynch said the increased delays meant accused people were waiting longer to go to trial, and victims had to wait longer for an outcome.
‘Justice delayed really is justice denied,’ he said.
‘It extends the anguish for victims, it means the memory of witnesses is less reliable.
‘It ties up police, prosecutors and lawyers and it provides no benefit to people who are charged who can’t know their future.’
The state government was consistently under-resourcing the legal system, Mr Lynch said.
‘It has simply got the wrong priorities,’ he said.
‘It can spend billions on Stadiums in Sydney but it can’t properly fund the legal system in Lismore.’