ANOTHER trial at Oxford Crown Court has been delayed but the city’s main court continues to stay open in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Courts across the country were told earlier this week that no new jury trials would go ahead as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Announcing the extraordinary new measure on Monday The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, said he had decided to pause jury trials to enable appropriate precautions to be put in place.

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He said: “As the Prime Minister has been telling the country, the spread of Covid-19 has continued to accelerate.

“The clear message from Government is to take all precautions to avoid unnecessary contact.

“A review of the arrangements in our courts is called for.

“I have decided that we need to pause jury trials for a short time to enable appropriate precautions to be put in place.”

The crown court in Oxford is still in operation with cases including plea hearings, bail applications and sentencings still being heard.

But court staff at the centre have now implemented strict policies of ‘social distancing’ as well as remote working, while keeping the doors of justice open.

READ ALSO: Oxford homeless to be put up in hotels during coronavirus outbreak.

Today a trial into alleged drug dealing in Oxford had been set to begin.

Reuel Briscoe denies two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Prosecutors claim that the 27-year-old of Aberdeen Park, Islington, London, had a quantity of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply it to others.

The two alleged offences are claimed to have taken place at an address on Pegasus Road, Oxford, on October 11 last year.

The case was adjourned at that hearing with a provisional new trial date pencilled in for June 8 this year.

Agreeing to adjourn the case and remanding Briscoe in custody to await the trial Recorder Michael Roques said at the hearing that these were ‘exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances.’

Meanwhile, while the crown court remains open court staff have implemented strict ‘social distancing’ policies.

Barristers representing the prosecution and the defence ordinarily attend in person, dressed in distinct wigs and gowns.

However, the vast majority of hearings are now being held remotely and barristers conduct the court’s business via telephone.

While court staff and judges are still physically present all attendees have to maintain a distance from each other.