A RAPE trial has been delayed due to a lack of Chinese interpreters as a result of coronavirus.

Jing Ming Jiang was due to stand trial yesterday but proceedings could not take place as no translators were available.

The 44-year-old, of Surrey Street, Littlehampton, pleads not guilty to two counts of rape and attempted rape.

At Hove Crown Court, Judge Paul Tain made the decision to extend Jiang’s custody time.

He said: “There are normally innumerable translators for this language.

“The court found two translators, each of whom dropped out. We have made further efforts to contact all the local translators, but these efforts have been unsuccessful.

“I’m satisfied that the nature of the present pandemic, which could easily over the next few days make almost all trials non-viable, that it is good and sufficient cause to extend custody.”

Judge Tain adjourned the trial until April 27, but said an earlier date may be possible if bail trials are cancelled due to the virus.