BARRISTERS and court staff have felt the chill after the heating system reportedly broke down.

Cases at Hove Crown Court have been transferred to other courts because of the boiler break down.

Prisoners cannot be brought to the building because it is "too cold" in the cells.

The heating system is also down in the jury rooms.

One barrister has complained: "I can't even feel my toes."

Another said: "It's freezing, we are all freezing. Counsel has the habit of trying to soldier on. But the court is not fit for purpose, we are all trying to do our best."

It follows a drop in temperatures overnight, and court staff say they do not know when the heating system will be repaired.

Mrs Justice Parmjit Cheema-Grubb, presiding over a murder trial, says an engineer is on site.

The High Court judge said: "The heating system has broken down.

"There is an engineer on site. The main difficulty is that the cells are too cold to receive people in custody.

"Quite rightly there are rules about these things. There has to be a minimum temperature achieved before it is appropriate to have someone in the cells.

"I have been down to the cells myself. The minimum temperature required is 16 degrees. Today it is hovering at about 15 degres, which is better than it was.

"It is also better than most ofthe building, probably including this court room."

It is understood that prisoners are being diverted to Brighton Crown Court instead.

But some trials are expected to start or continue in the building today.

Some barristers have said it is a sign of the cutbacks to the justice system, while one said: "It is a sign we no longer have the best justice system in the world."