Judge uses Google Translate to inform Bath defendant about next court appearance
A judge was forced to use Google Translate to inform a defendant from Bath about what was happening in his case at Bristol Crown Court.
Jaroslaw Nowacki, 31, of Pierrepont Street, Bath, appeared at crown court on Wednesday (August 30) charged with possession of a knife without good reason or lawful authority.
However, the preparation for trial hearing did not exactly go to plan.
His Honour Judge Euan Ambrose confirmed with the defendant that he was originally from Poland, before deciding it was likely Nowacki would need a translator.
“We need a translator who speaks Polish for you and English for me,” he told the court.
Judge Ambrose said he would delay the plea hearing until next Wednesday (September 6) to allow the court time to arrange for a translator.
He also told Nowacki, who was not represented by a barrister at the hearing, that he needs to speak to a lawyer before he returns to court.
But due to Nowacki’s limited grasp of English, he did not understand what he was being told and Judge Ambrose turned to Google Translate to get his message across.
“Whether Google Translate will accurately translate what I want to say I don’t know,” he said.
After spending several minutes typing out a message, Judge Ambrose printed it off and it was handed to Nowacki for him to read in the dock.
Nowacki then confirmed that he understood the message and the case was adjourned, with the defendant given unconditional bail ahead of the next hearing.
It was the first time Nowacki had appeared at crown court after he was arrested on July 14 when police were called to reports of a man in possession of a knife in Old Orchard Street.
Officers attended the scene and eventually arrested a man in Somerset Street, outside The Forum.
Nowacki’s case was initially heard by Bath Magistrates’ Court on July 31, before being sent to crown court under section 51(1) and (2) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
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