The trial of a south Warwickshire man accused of driving his car at a builder has become one of the first cases in the Midlands to be affected by a strike by barristers.
Mark Shearsby had been due to stand trial at Warwick Crown Court yesterday after he had pleaded not guilty to attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on Kenneth Hancox with intent.
Shearsby (43) had also denied a charge of dangerous driving in the road outside his home in Elm Close, Southam, during the alleged incident in June.
His trial was listed to begin at the court on Monday, but could not get under way because there was no prosecuting barrister.
Addressing Mark Lynn, the chief prosecuting solicitor with Warwickshire CPS, Judge Marten Coates said that a barrister had been instructed in the case when it was listed last month for a plea and directions hearing.
"It was brought in for trial today from the reserve list, and counsel originally briefed was not available.
"But, because of action being taken by individual members of the bar, you have been unable to find counsel to take the case today," he said.
Simon Phillips, defending, said that Shearsby was extremely disappointed that the case could not go ahead, but he understood the reason why.
Judge Coates said he would have to take the case out of the list and adjourn the trial to another date, adding: "I shall be telling Lord Justice Thomas about this case. He has asked to be kept informed."
Mr Phillips said he had not been the barrister originally instructed to represent Shearsby, but explained that "different barristers are taking different stances".
Barristers at chambers in the Midlands are joining members of the bar in other parts of the country this week in taking action over cuts in certain legal aid fees and a refusal to increase rates which have remained unchanged for eight years.
It is said not to be a strike as such, because barristers are self-employed, but although they are continuing to do cases they already have, many are refusing to take on 'returns' - cases which other barristers have been instructed but are unable to do because of a clash with another case to which they are committed.
It is feared that the action will result in a large backlog of cases at crown courts throughout the region.