East Ham street trader walks free after prosecution bungling

THE prosecution of an alleged illegal street trader had to be ditched despite SIX publicly-funded court hearings following a series of blunders by Stratford Magistrates Court and Newham Council.

The council took Ramesh Mudra, of Haldene Road, East Ham, to court over allegations he was trading without a licence in November 2009.

But after five adjournments, a council officer forgot to bring the file relating to the case to court, leading magistrates to kick the long-running prosecution into touch.

Despite the council spending even more taxpayers’ cash on a bid to resurrect the case - two High Court judges on Thursday drew a line under the whole gaffe-strewn affair.

Lord Justice Davis, sitting with Mr Justice Irwin, said: “A lot of time had expired and the magistrates had indicated that it would need to be dealt with on the next occasion, but the council did not have the papers and they only came through late.”

Having lost the case, Newham is now likely to face heavy legal costs bills.